FERPA: Frequently Asked Questions
- What are FERPA rights?
- When do FERPA rights begin?
- What are education records?
- How can I withhold release of my directory information?
- Can my parents access my student education records?
- What about crisis situations or emergencies?
- Whom do I contact with questions or concerns?
What are FERPA rights?
Students have three primary rights under FERPA. They have the right to inspect and review their education records; the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from their education records; and the right to seek to amend their education records, under certain circumstances.
When do FERPA rights begin?
A student's FERPA rights begin when the student registers and attends his or her first class at MiraCosta College.
What are education records?
Under FERPA, education records are defined as records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an education agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. The information may be recorded in any way, including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, computer media, videotape, audiotape, film, microfilm, microfiche, and e-mail.
How can I withhold release of my directory information?
According to FERPA, a student can request that the institution not release any directory information about him or her. Institutions must comply with this request. At MiraCosta College, students who wish to restrict the release of directory information about them can indicate on their application to restrict their directory information. You may also submit a “Change of Data” form to the Admissions and Records Office.
Can my parents access my student educational records?
At the post secondary level, parents have no inherent rights to access or inspect their son or daughter's education records. Records may be released to parents only if they have been given a written release by the student.
What about crisis situations or emergencies?
If non-directory information is needed to resolve a crisis or emergency situation, an education institution may release that information if the institution determines that the information is "necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals." Factors considered in making this assessment are: the severity of the threat to the health or safety of those involved; the need for the information; the time required to deal with the emergency; and the ability of the parties to whom the information is to be given to deal with the emergency.