FERPA: Protecting Student’s Privacy Since 1974

Olufunmilayo Coker
Staff Writer

Students at LIU Post are entitled to some privacy, including the protection of their scholarly records. That is a reason why Congress passed the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in 1974. For students attending LIU Post, the institution provides an “Authorization to Permit Access to Educational Records” form.

According to the description of FERPA provided in the form, this act is designed to guard the privacy of records containing information about a student’s education. It also gives the students the right to “inspect and review the educational records within 45 days of the receipt of a written request.”

The form states that if students find a mistake made in their records, FERPA provides guidelines that will assist students in correcting the data. A correction of a mistake made in a student’s academic records is usually made through a series of “informal and formal hearings.”

FERPA, according to Gaetan Pamphile, the office manager for the Registrar,is usually something that parents are concerned about.

Pamphile explains that, once a student turns 18-years-old, all educational records become inaccessible to that student’s parents. These records not only include the grades and courses being taken by students, but also everything concerning a student’s educational life.

FERPA protects everything from student infringements to parking tickets. However, a student who wishes to allow parents access to all, or certain areas, of their academic records, can fill out the FERPA

form. “[Students] can actually choose what records [they] want to disclose,” Pamphile added.

On the Authorization to Permit Access to Educational Records form, students can list the names of people that they would like to give access to, and the relationship they have with them. They can also decide which records can be released under their consent.

The records that students can release include: grades, academic standing, transcripts, Bursar/financial records, and disciplinary records. Pamphile also explains that in order to prevent a parent from forging their child’s signature on the form, “[the form] has to be signed in front of a notary for the form to be authorized.”

Students were informed of FERPA and the Authorization to Permit Access to Educational Records form during orientation and in an email that was sent out in the beginning of the fall semester.

According to Tamara Napoleon, a freshman Biology major, FERPA is important. “As an adult, [FERPA] gives you some sense of privacy,” she added.

Napoleon believes that it is the student’s right to keep educational records hidden from parents unless they consent otherwise.

Gabriela Garcia, a sophomore Chemistry major, believes that parents shouldn’t have to be subjected to the authorization form. “From experience, since my mom pays for my tuition, I believe that she should know how I am doing in school. If I was paying my own tuition, I wouldn’t tell her [anything].”

Students interested in completing the form should check with Registrar for more information.

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