The Catholic University of America

Of Counsel - A Bulletin on Legal Issues at CUA - *Chart updated March 2013

Reference Chart:Release of Student Education Records

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Actions to be Taken by Record Custodian

 

REQUESTER

THE STUDENT
REQUESTING HIS/HER OWN RECORDS

PARENT OR GUARDIAN

FACULTY OR OTHER SCHOOL OFFICIAL

OTHER PARTIES SEEKING
INFORMATION

DEFINITION

Any person who attends or has attended the university.

Natural parent, guardian, or individual acting as parent in the absence of a parent or guardian.

University administrator, academic or research employee. See (B) for details.

Includes media, courts, lawyers, educational authorities, lending institutions, educational agencies or institutions, and alleged victims of crimes of violence.

REQUESTER THE STUDENT
(OWN RECORD)
PARENT OR GUARDIAN FACULTY OR SCHOOL OFFICIAL OTHER PARTIES

ASK TO SEE ID

Yes, check ID. Also, have student sign and date request form. Electronic request must meet process.

Check to verify that the student is a tax dependent of the parent or has signed a release.

No, unless doubt as to the official's identity.

Yes, if release of record depends on identity/role.

REQUESTER THE STUDENT
(OWN RECORD)
PARENT OR GUARDIAN FACULTY OR SCHOOL OFFICIAL OTHER PARTIES

VERIFY NEED TO KNOW

N/A

N/A

Yes, even for an official, verify their legitimate educa- tional interest (D).

Yes, unless they have student's written permission.

REQUESTER THE STUDENT
(OWN RECORD)
PARENT OR GUARDIAN FACULTY OR SCHOOL OFFICIAL OTHER PARTIES

CONSULT WITH GENERAL COUNSEL

No, unless questions arise regarding the request.

No, unless questions arise regarding the request.

No, unless questions arise regarding the request.

Yes, for subpoenas, IRS summons or other legal process, or if it involves student disciplinary records.

REQUESTER THE STUDENT
(OWN RECORD)
PARENT OR GUARDIAN FACULTY OR SCHOOL OFFICIAL OTHER PARTIES

OBTAIN WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM STUDENT

Yes, to the extent that the student is required to provide a signed request form.
Electronic release must be governed by process meeting law.

 

No, if student's dependency has been verified. Yes, if student is not a dependent. Exception for under 21 student with alcohol/drug or legal violation or health and safety exception.

Not necessary if official has a legitimate educational interest.
 

Yes, unless the request falls within exceptions to release of information (C) or is directory information (E).

REQUESTER THE STUDENT
(OWN RECORD)
PARENT OR GUARDIAN FACULTY OR SCHOOL OFFICIAL OTHER PARTIES

EXPLAIN
RE-DISCLOSURE
LIMITS

No

No

Yes

Yes

REQUESTER THE STUDENT
(OWN RECORD)
PARENT OR GUARDIAN FACULTY OR SCHOOL OFFICIAL OTHER PARTIES

RECORD REQUEST & ACTION TAKEN
IN STUDENT FILE

No

Yes

Keep a record in the student's file only when the request for access was denied.

Yes. Exceptions are  written consent from student;   directory information or subpoena prohibiting disclosure of the request to student.

REQUESTER THE STUDENT
(OWN RECORD)
PARENT OR GUARDIAN FACULTY OR SCHOOL OFFICIAL OTHER PARTIES

MISCELLANEOUS

Student has no right to confidential letters of recommendation, confidential financial information of parents, or those items not defined as education records (A).

Check to see if the student is a tax dependent of either parent. If the student has filed for federal financial aid, the Office of Student  Financial Assistance will have this information. Both parents have equal access, even if divorced/separated, unless a court order states otherwise.

Consult with supervisor or University Registrar if doubt as to legitimate educational interest. Office of General Counsel can provide guidance.

For directory information, be sure to check whether student has requested non-disclosure of such information.

 

See below for definitions of (A), (B), (C), (D) and (E).

If record contains personally identifiable information on other students, delete that information before disclosing the record.

Written consent must specify: 1) records to be disclosed; 2) purpose of disclosure; and 3) party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made.

 

This chart is intended as a supplement to CUA's Student Records Policy and should only be used after reading the full policy.

 

 


 

 

SUMMARY DEFINITIONS

(Read the CUA's Student Records Policy for Detailed Definitions)

A. Education Records include any and all records in any medium maintained by CUA which is directly related to a student except the following:

  • CUA law enforcement records
  • Employment records where employment is not connected to student status
  • Medical and mental health records used only for treatment of the student (protected by other laws)
  • Faculty and staff personal records not shared with others and in the sole possession of the maker
  • Alumni records which do not relate to or contain information about the person as a student

 

B. School Official

  • A person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position.
  • A trustee or outside contractor such as health or medical staff, an attorney or auditor acting as an agent for the university.
  • Students, alumni or others serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or who is assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

 

C. Additional Parties To Whom Educational Records May Be Released Without Written Permission

  • To officials of another school, upon written request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll . The student shall receive notification of the disclosure unless the student initiated the disclosure.
  • Parents of a dependent student, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. In case of divorced or separated parents, if either parent claims the student as a dependent for tax purposes, then both parents may have access to the education records, unless court order states otherwise. Parents are not entitled to confidential financial records of the other parent.
  • University has discretion to disclose final results of any disciplinary proceeding, the name of the student, violation committed, and sanction imposed. No other students' names may be disclosed w/o written consent.
  • Appropriate persons, in connection with an emergency, if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others.
  • To U.S. Attorney General investigating federal legal requirements, Comptroller General, or Secretary of Education, subject to conditions 34 CFR 99.35.
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided the university makes a reasonable effort to notify the student first, unless the university receives a federal grand jury subpoena or other subpoena for law enforcement prohibiting notification. The Office of General Counsel must be consulted prior to release of the record.

 

D. Legitimate Educational Interest. A school official has a legitimate educational interest in the the education record and may be permitted access if the  official is:

  • Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or contract agreement; related to a student's education; or related to the discipline of a student.
  • Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.
  • Maintaining the safety and security of the campus.

 

The record custodian will determine whether a legitimate educational interest exists, whether the school official has a legal right to know, on a case-by-case basis. When the custodian has any question regarding the request, the custodian should withhold disclosure unless the custodian obtains written consent from the student, or the concurrence of a supervisor or other appropriate official that the record may be released. Consult with the Office of Enrollment Services at tel 202-319-5300 or the General Counsel at tel 202-319-5142.

 

E. Directory Information

The following data is considered to be directory information and may be given to an inquirer, either in person, by mail, or by telephone, and may be otherwise made public unless the student has requested that the Registrar place a hold on his/her directory information: name of student, address (both local, including e-mail address and permanent),  photograph, dates of registered attendance, enrollment status (e.g. full-time or part-time), school or division of enrollment, major field of study, nature and dates of degrees and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of athletic teams.



updated 3-8-13 by mlo to take phone # out of Directory Info definition to conform to polcy change