Tuition and Costs Apply Now

Registrar FERPA Policy

BRIDGEWATER COLLEGE FERPA POLICY STATEMENT

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (commonly referred to as "FERPA" or the "Buckley Amendment") is designed to protect the confidentiality of the records that educational institutions maintain on their students and to give students access to their records to assure the accuracy of their contents. The Act affords students certain rights with respect to their Education Records. They are:

  1. Access to Education Records: students have the right to inspect and review their Education. Records within 45 days of the day the College receives a written request for access.

  2. Request for Amendment of Education Records: students have the right to request amendment of Education Records if they believe the records are inaccurate, misleading or in violation of their privacy rights. See below for information regarding destruction of records.

  3. Disclosure of Education Records: students have the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information in Education Records, except to the extent that the Act or any other superseding law authorizes disclosure without student consent.

  4. Compliance: students have the right to contact the Family Policy Compliance Office with complaints concerning the College's compliance with the requirements of FERPA.

Definitions

For the purposes of this policy, Bridgewater College employs the following definitions of terms.

  1. Student – any person who attends or has attended a class during an official session of Bridgewater College.

  2. Education Records – any record (in handwriting, print, electronic form, tapes, film, or other medium) maintained by Bridgewater College or an agent of the College which is directly related to a student, except:

    • Records kept in the sole possession of the maker which are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.

    • An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual's employment.

    • Records maintained by Bridgewater College if the record is maintained for law enforcement purposes, and by Campus Police.

    • Medical records maintained by the Health Center or Counseling Center if the records are used for treatment of a student and made available to those persons providing the treatment.

    • Post-attendance records which contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the College and which do not relate to the person as a student.

Types, Locations, and Custodians of Records

The following is a list of the types of records that Bridgewater College maintains, their locations, and custodians.

Types

Location

Custodian

Admissions Records

Admissions or Registrar's Office

Director of Enrollment Operations or Registrar

Financial Aid Records

Financial Aid Office

Director of Financial Aid

 

Cumulative Academic Records

Office of the Registrar

Registrar

Health Records

Health Center

Director, Student Health Services

Financial Records

 

Office of Student Accounts

Vice President of Finance

Placement Records

Career Services Center

Director of Career Services

Progress Records

Office of the Registrar

 

Registrar

Disciplinary Records

Student Life, Academic Dean or President's Office

 

Academic Dean, Dean of Students or President's Office

Student Employment Records

Financial Aid Office or Payroll Office

Director of Financial Aid; Director of Human Resources

Occasional Records

(Student Education Records such as minutes of faculty committee meetings, copies of correspondence in offices not listed, etc.)

The appropriate official will collect such records, direct the student to their location, or otherwise make them available for inspection and review

The College staff person who maintains such occasional records


Procedure to Inspect Education Records

Students may inspect and review their Education Records upon written request to the Registrar or other appropriate official records custodian, stating as precisely as possible the Education Record or Records he or she wishes to inspect.

The College official will make the needed arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where the Records may be inspected. Access must be given in 45 days or less from the receipt of the request.

When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records which relate to him or her.

Right of College to Refuse Access

Bridgewater College reserves the right to refuse to permit a student to inspect the following records:

1. The financial statement of the student's parents.

2. Letters and statements of recommendation for which the student has waived his or her right of access.

3. Records connected with an application to attend Bridgewater College if that application was denied or the student never attended the College.

4. Those portions of Education Records that contain information about other students.

5. Those records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of Education Records.

Refusal to Provide Copies

Bridgewater College reserves the right to deny copies if the transcripts or other records are not required to be made available under FERPA: if the student lives within commuting distance of Bridgewater College (50 miles) and can travel to review the records; if the student has an unpaid financial obligation to the College; or if there is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.

Annual Notification

Students will be notified of their FERPA rights annually.

Amendment of Education Records

Students have the right to request amendment of records that they believe to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights. Following are the procedures for the request for amendment of records:

1. A student must submit a request in writing to the appropriate official records custodian of the record in question, identifying the Education Record to be amended, specifying how the Education Record is believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights.

2. Bridgewater College may comply with the request or it may elect not to comply. If the College elects not to comply, the student will be notified in writing of the decision and advised of the right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights.

3. Upon written request by the student, Bridgewater College will arrange for a hearing, and notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place and time of the hearing.

4. The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer or committee appointed by the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs. The hearing will be held before an officer or committee with no direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. The student shall be accorded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student's education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney.

5. Bridgewater College will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.

6. If Bridgewater College decides the challenged information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights, it will amend the Education Record and notify the student, in writing, that the Education Record has been amended.

7. If Bridgewater College decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights, the Education Record will stand unchanged. However, the student will be advised of his/her right to place in the Education Record a statement regarding the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision not to change the Education Record.

8. This statement will be maintained as part of the student's Education Record as long as the contested portion is maintained. If the contested portion of the Education Record is disclosed, the statement must be disclosed with it.

Destruction of Records

Nothing in this policy requires the continued maintenance of any Education Record for any particular length of time. However, if under the terms of this policy a student has requested access to an Education Record, the Record will not be destroyed before the record custodian has granted the student access.

Disclosure of Education Records

Bridgewater College may disclose information from a student's Education Records only with the written consent of the student, or as otherwise permitted by applicable law, including but not limited to the following circumstances:

  1. To school officials determined by the College to have a legitimate educational interest.

    "School officials" are those members of an institution who act in the student's educational interest within the limitations of their "need to know." They may include a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research or support staff position, including College Police and Safety and Student Health staff; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using College employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person or organization acting as an official agent of the institution and performing a business function or service on behalf of the institution; a student conducting College business, such as serving on an official body or committee, or working for the College, or assisting another school official in fulfilling his or her professional responsibility; and any other person determined by the Office of the President to have a need to know the information in order to perform his or her administrative tasks, to provide a service or benefit for a student, or to fulfill a legitimate educational interest of the College.

    A school official is determined to have "legitimate educational interest" if the information requested is necessary for that official to (a) perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his or her position description or by a contract agreement; (b) perform a task related to a student's education; (c) perform a task related to the discipline of a student; or (d) provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.

  2. To agents acting on behalf of the institution (e.g. clearinghouses, degree and enrollment verifiers).

  3. To other schools at which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or has enrolled.

  4. To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities, such as a state postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the College's state-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal- or state-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf.

  5. In connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.

  6. To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the College.

  7. To accrediting organizations, including individuals or visiting committees, to carry out their functions.

  8. To parents of a student if the student is a dependent for income tax purposes.

  9. To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.

  10. To appropriate parties, including parents, in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals.

  11. To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, the final results of the institutional disciplinary proceeding regarding the alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding.

  12. To anyone, the final results of a disciplinary hearing against an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense, if the perpetrator was a student and it is determined the student violated the College's rules or policies, with respect to the allegations made against him or her.

  13. To the parents of a student regarding the student's violation of law or of a College rule or policy as to alcohol or controlled substance use or possession, if the student is under age 21 at the time of the disclosure and the College determines that such alcohol or drug use or possession constitutes aCollege disciplinary violation.

  14. The disclosure is information the College has designated as "directory information."

Consent for the Disclosure

Consent for the disclosure of a student's Education Record must be in writing, signed and dated by the student, specifying the records to be released, the reasons for such release, and to whom the records are to be disclosed.

Record of Disclosures

Except where not required under FERPA regulations, the College will inform all third parties to whom personal information from a student's Education Record is released that no further release of such information is authorized without written consent of the student. As required by federal law, Bridgewater College will maintain a record of third parties who have requested or obtained access to Educational Records and/or disclosure of such information from a student's Education Records. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be redisclosed, and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. This record of access, to be kept with the Education Records, is available only to the student and the custodian(s) of the Education Record.

Directory Information

Bridgewater College has designated the following categories of student information as public or Directory Information:

  • Name
  • Addresses (home and campus)
  • Telephone numbers (home, campus and cell)
  • E-mail and www home page addresses
  • Classification (e.g. freshman, full time/part time)
  • Major(s)/Minor(s)
  • Photographic or videotaped image
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Height/weight (athletic team members)
  • Dates of attendance
  • Date and place of birth
  • Degrees and awards
  • Previous school attendance

The College may disclose any of these items at its discretion, without prior written consent unless notified in writing not to disclose. Requests for nondisclosure by the student are in effect from the date received in writing from the student until rescinded in writing by the student.

Compliance

Students are encouraged to contact the College Registrar (Flory Hall, ext. 5313, email address chowdysh@bridgewater.edu) with questions or complaints about this Policy. If students have questions or concerns about this Policy, or FERPA, they have the right to contact the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education (400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20202-4605,email address: ferpa@ed.gov) with a complaint about the College's compliance with FERPA.

Revision date – 02.23.12