Students have three primary rights under FERPA. They have the rights to: inspect and review their education records; have some control over the disclosure of information from their education record; and seek to amend their education records, under certain circumstances.
A student’s FERPA rights begin when the student registers and attends their first class.
NOTE: Students who originally sought admission to one program of study at the university and were denied, but subsequently are admitted and enrolled in a different program of study, have FERPA rights only in their admitted/enrolled program of study.
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. Education records can exist in any medium, including: typed, computer generated, videotape, audiotape, film, microfilm, microfiche and email, among others.
According to FERPA, a student can request that while they are still enrolled, the institution not release any directory information about them. Institutions must comply with this request. At USC, students who wish to restrict the release of directory information about themselves must fill out the Student Request to Restrict Directory Information form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students can choose to restrict online student directory information only or they can restrict the release of all their directory information. Students will be required to renew the request at the beginning of each academic year.
Students who wish to restrict directory information should realize that this action could have negative consequences. The names of students who have restricted their directory information will not appear in the Commencement Bulletin or other university publications. Also, employers, credit card companies, loan agencies, scholarship committees and the like will be denied any of your directory information and will be told that we have no information available about your attendance at USC.
At the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent rights to access or inspect their child’s education records. This right is limited solely to the student. At USC, records may be released to parents only if they have been given a written release by the student or in compliance with a subpoena.
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.
General questions may be directed to the Office of the General Counsel or the Office of Compliance, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Office for Student Conduct or the Office of the Registrar, as appropriate.