FERPA FAQ's for Students
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What does this mean for you as a student?
Bristol Community College receives requests from outside entities including the military and local public officials (often to send congratulatory messages to graduates). Unless there is a confidential designation on your record we will fulfill these requests. You can fill out a confidentiality request by clicking on the link below.
Directory Information Confidentiality Request Form - Student Services Tab under AccessBCC
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law that affords students certain rights with respect to their education records and defines situations in which the university may release information from student records with student consent. These rights transfer from the parents to the student when either the student turns eighteen years old or enters a postsecondary educational institution, regardless of age.
If I fill out the confidentiality form will I be listed in the commencement program?
When a student is designated as confidential, they will not be listed in the commencement program. The Registrars Office will send an email to all confidential students requesting them to waive their confidential status in order to be added to the commencement program. If no response is received by email the Registrars Office will do their best to contact the student via phone to ensure that the students does not wish to be in the commencement program.
What rights are my student afforded under FERPA?
Rights afforded to students under FERPA include:
- The right to inspect and review their education records with 45 days after the day the university receives a request for access.
- The right to request the amendment of an element of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
- The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Will I receive email communications from the college if I have the confidential designation?
Yes, a confidential student will receive email communications from the college.
Does Bristol need written consent before it discloses a student’s contact information?
In the vast majority of cases, FERPA’s “directory information” exception allows Bristol to disclose a student’s name, address, Bristol program, and other basic information. The complete list of information that Bristol considers directory information can be found here: DIRECTORY INFORMATION