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Student Privacy

Southern Wesleyan University Notification of Rights under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a Federal law that is administered by the Family Policy Compliance Office in the U.S. Department of Education.  20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99.  FERPA applies to educational institutions that receive any federal funding.  Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) is subject to FERPA.

The student’s education record is maintained in the Office of Academic Records.  FERPA affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records.  An “eligible student” is a student who is at least 18 years of age or who is enrolled at a postsecondary institution.  Education records are records that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by the university or by a party acting for the university.  FERPA rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after SWU receives the student’s request.  The university will make arrangements for access to the records and will notify the student of these arrangements.  The student will be required to present proof of identification for access to the records.
  2. The right to challenge, in writing, the content 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 student shall be granted a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory to the student.  The student may submit an explanatory statement for inclusion in the education record if the outcome of the hearing is deemed unsatisfactory by the student.
  3. The right to prevent disclosure of the student’s education record except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without the student’s consent.  A student’s education record may be released without the student’s written consent:
    • to school officials with legitimate educational interests:  a school official is an individual who has a legitimate need to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities to SWU;
    • to third parties endorsed by SWU who perform an institutional service or function for the university;
    • to officials of another postsecondary institution in which a student seeks or intends to enroll;
    • in response to a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    • 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 university’s state-supported education programs;
    • in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received;
    • to parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code;
    • to appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency;
    • to the parents of a student under 21 years of age who is found in violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of SWU, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance;
    • when directory information is requested:  directory information at SWU includes student’s name, local and permanent address, telephone number, SWU email address, age, major field of study, dates of attendance, enrollment status (e.g., graduate or undergraduate; full-time or part-time), degrees, honors, and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of an athletic team.
  1. 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.

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC  20202

Students may withhold disclosure of directory information by submitting the non-disclosure form available in the Office of Academic Records. Written requests for non-disclosure will be honored for a maximum of one year. In the absence of a non-disclosure form, SWU may release directory information about a student accordingly.