Home Legal Consumer Information Bridgewater College FERPA Policy Statement

Bridgewater College FERPA Policy Statement

  • A.  Student Rights.  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) afford eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records.  An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.  These rights include:
  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day Bridgewater College (“College”) receives a request for access.  A student should submit to the registrar, dean for academic affairs, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect.  The College official 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 College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  • The right to request the amendment 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.
    • A student who wishes to ask the College to amend a record should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
    • If the College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s 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.
  • The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information (“PII”) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA or another statute or regulation authorizes disclosure without con­sent.  The types of disclosures permitted without student consent are described below.
  • If you wish to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA, you may complete the complaint form electronically. The complaint form may also be downloaded (.pdf) and either submitted to the Family Policy Compliance Office by e-mailing it to FERPA.Complaints@ed.gov or by printing out the form, signing and mailing it to the following address:

    U.S. Department of Education
    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  20202
  • B.  Types, Locations, and Custodians of Records.  The following is a non-exhaustive list of the types of records that Bridgewater College maintains, their locations, and custodians.
Admissions RecordsAdmissions or Registrar’s OfficeDirector of Admissions or Registrar
Financial Aid RecordsFinancial Aid OfficeDirector of Financial Aid
Cumulative Academic RecordsOffice of the RegistrarRegistrar
Health RecordsHealth CenterDirector, Student Health Services
Financial RecordsOffice of Student AccountsVice President of Finance
Placement RecordsCareer Services CenterDirector of Career Services
Progress RecordsOffice of the RegistrarRegistrar
Disciplinary RecordsStudent Life, Academic Dean or President’s OfficeAcademic Dean, Dean of Students or President’s Office
Student Employment RecordsFinancial Aid Office or Payroll OfficeDirector of Financial Aid; Director of Human Resources
  • C.  Disclosure without Consent.  FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations.  Except for disclosures to College officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure.  Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.  A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student:
  • To other College officials, including faculty, within the College whom the College has determined to have legitimate educational interests.  A College official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law en­forcement unit personnel and counseling and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary, grievance or honor com­mittee.  A College official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the College who performs an institutional service or function for which the College would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the College with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another College official in performing his or her tasks.  A College official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educa­tion record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the College. (§99.31(a)(1))
  • To officials of another College where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34.  (§99.31(a)(2))
  • 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, subject to the requirements of §99.35, 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 of PII 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, to perform certain types of studies, such as Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, in certain cases even when the College objects to or does not request such research, subject to the requirements of applicable FERPA regulations.  (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.  (§99.31(a)(4))
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the College, in order to:  (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction.  (§99.31(a)(6))
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.  ((§99.31(a)(7))
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.  (§99.31(a)(8))
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, including a court order obtained under the USA PATRIOT Act for education records considered relevant to a terrorism investigation or prosecution, without advance notice to the student.  (§99.31(a)(9))
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36, if the College determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individual(s).  (§99.31(a)(10))
  • Information the College has designated as “directory information” under §99.37 (see paragraph D below).  (§99.31(a)(11))
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39.  The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding.  (§99.31(a)(13))
  • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the College determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the College’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
  • To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the College, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the College determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
  • To disclose information provided to the College under Section 170101 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 14071) concerning registered sex offenders who are required to register under that section.
  • To the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) / Department of Homeland Security (DHS) concerning a nonimmigrant alien to comply with Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) reporting obligations, as mandated by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, and the regulation at 8 CFR 214.1(h).
  • To Veteran’s Administration officials pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 3690(c).
  • As required by any other Federal or State law that has not been pre-empted by FERPA.
  • D.  Directory Information.  FERPA permits the disclosure of information deemed by the College to be “Directory Information” without written consent.  (§99.31(a)(11)) This information includes:
  • Student name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Previous educational institutions attended and degrees awarded
  • Current enrollment status
  • Dates of attendance
  • Current classification (e.g., first year student; full-time/part-time)
  • Major(s)/Minor(s)
  • Degree(s) sought
  • Expected date of completion of degree requirements and graduation
  • Degree(s) earned and dates awarded
  • Past and present participation in officially recognized sports, activities and organizations
  • Scholarships, awards, honors and special recognitions (e.g., Dean’s List)
  • Height and weight of members of athletic teams
  • Photographic and videotaped image

The College may disclose any of these items at its discretion, without prior written consent unless the student notifies the registrar in writing that he or she does not wish to permit such disclosure. Requests for non-disclosure by the student are in effect from the date received in writing from the student until rescinded in writing by the student.

Students are encouraged to contact the College Registrar (Flory Hall, ext. 5313, email address chowdysh@bridgewater.edu) with questions about this Policy.