University of St. Thomas
Notification of Rights as Required by the Family Education Rights
and Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended (FERPA)
Revision of 08/19/05 by the University Registrar
The University of St. Thomas is required to annually provide this notice by any means that are
reasonably likely to inform those who have rights under the Act.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect
to their education records. These rights include:
1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the
university receives a request for access. Students should submit to the university registrar
written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The registrar will make
arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may
be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the registrar, the registrar will advise the
student of the official to whom the request should be addressed.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student
believes to be inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the University to amend a record
that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the university registrar, clearly
identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or
misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the
university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a
hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing
procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the
student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without
consent. Some of the exceptions authorized by the law are set out below.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures
by the University of St. Thomas to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and
address of the Office that administers FERPA is
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
The university also advises students that:
1. The university may deny access to the following classes of records: Financial information
submitted by parents; confidential letters or recommendations placed in the file prior to
January 1, 1975; confidential letters or recommendations to which the student has waived
rights of inspection; private records of instructors, counselors, or administrators kept for their
own use; alumni records which contain only directory information and information collected
after the student has left the university; and medical, psychiatric, psychological or similar
2. The University may disclose educational records without written consent of students to the
Personnel within the University who maintain educational records and those with a
legitimate educational interest, including faculty or staff who deal with the student and
carry out education studies, and employees designated by them to assist in these
tasks. The University of St. Thomas defines "legitimate educational interest" as "needs
the record(s) to carry out employment responsibilities" Therefore, any university
employee, or person acting on behalf of the university, may have access to student
records without the student's written consent if that person needs the access to carry
out his/her employment responsibilities.;
officials of other colleges or universities in which the student seeks to enroll, with a
notice of the disclosure being sent to the student's last known address;
organizations conducting studies approved by the university having educational value or
concerning financial aid.
accrediting organizations approved by the university carrying out their accrediting
persons in compliance with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena, with a notice
of the disclosure being sent to the last known address of the student;
persons in an emergency, if in the judgment of an official in charge of the records,
knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student
or other person.
3. Directory information may be released without the written consent of the student, unless the
student specifies to the contrary as described below. Directory information includes student
name, address, e-mail address, photographs, telephone number, class year, major field of
study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards, current membership in clubs or fraternities,
participation in activities and sports with weight and height of team members, high school and
other colleges attended, parent's names and addresses, and anticipated date of graduation.
4. To withhold directory information from the public, undergraduate students must file a form
available in the office of the registrar and online within one week from the
beginning of the fall semester (or the semester in which the student enters). The order for
withholding will remain in effect until the student rescinds it in writing. The form for withholding
directory information will inform the student of some possible consequences. For example, as
long as a non-disclosure order is in effect the student cannot participate in intercollegiate
athletics where team rosters are published, or commencement ceremonies. Graduate students
will fill out this form in their respective graduate offices.
5. University officials whose employment duties permit them access to information from parents'
federal income tax returns may use those returns to determine whether students are
dependent on a parent as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. In such cases, FERPA
and university policy permit those officials to disclose information from those student's
education records to their parents without student consent. The university is not required to
notify students or maintain a record of these disclosures.
6. When personally identifiable information other than directory information is released, a notice
will be given that the recipients are not permitted to disclose the information to unauthorized
persons without written consent of the student. University personnel will be informed annually
of this restriction and their responsibilities under this Act so that individual notices will not be
This statement adheres to the standards of a FERPA annual notification as provided by the United
States of America, Department of Education.