Understanding FERPA - Students
Basic Student Rights under FERPA
FERPA gives eligible students five basic rights with respect to their education record:
- The right to inspect and review their education record maintained by the institution
- The right to request the institution correct records or portions of the records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading
- The right to request a formal hearing if the institution decides not to amend the record as requested
- The right to control disclosure of their education record except under certain conditions
- The right to file a written complaint regarding the institution’s non-compliance with FERPA through the Family Policy Compliance Office within the U.S. Department of Education
Note: Any third party requesting records should visit LSCO’s Public Records Site.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a student’s prior written consent. You can control how your information is or is not released. Read more on the main FERPA page.
FERPA provides current and former students with the right to inspect and review their education records. The following describes how current and former students can exercise that right. Students only have the right to inspect and review education records related directly to them. Students who request to inspect their records may review records that have been redacted to protect other individuals’ privacy rights.
A current or former student must make their request to access their education records
in writing or by filling out the appropriate Student Request to Inspect Records.
The request must include:
- Full name
- Student ID number, LSCO ID number
- The specific education records requested
- Current email address
- Current physical address
- Signature and date
The request must be mailed or emailed as an attached PDF to the following:
Via U.S. mail:
Lamar State College Orange
410 Front Street
Orange, Texas 77630
Via email: email@example.com
The request, whether valid or invalid, will be acknowledged by the College via email to the address provided. Under FERPA, the College may take up to 45 calendar days to respond to valid requests; the 45-calendar-day window will begin on the day following the business day that the request was received.
The registrar or designee will gather the relevant education records in the College’s possession, check for compliance with FERPA and make any necessary redactions, as described above.
Records will be gathered as of the request date, meaning that any education records added after the date of the valid request will require an additional valid request to inspect and a new time period will commence for those records.
The student will be notified by email or mail when the records will be made available in the registrar’s office on the main campus or other suitable campus location as determined by the registrar or designee. Based on current staffing and available resources, students should expect dates to be offered near the end of the 45-day period.
If students choose not to attend during the time assigned under section 6, the request will be closed, and students will be invited to make a new request.
The student will check in with valid identification at the Admission’s reception area (or other suitable campus location as determined by the registrar or designee) at the agreed upon time. One form of government-issued identification is required, such as a current (unexpired) driver’s license, state identification card or passport.
The student has the right to have one adviser of their choice present during the inspection, provided that the adviser’s schedule does not unreasonably delay the inspection. The registrar shall determine what constitutes an "unreasonable" delay. If the student brings an adviser, the student will sign a FERPA consent form, agreeing to the disclosure of their record to the adviser during the inspection.
A student will be given a reasonable time to inspect the records, which will generally be one hour. However, depending on the number of records requested, the registrar or designee may provide for a longer inspection period.
The registrar or designee will be present during the entirety of the inspection of the records. In general, students may not make copies or photographs of the education records. However, if circumstances effectively prevent the student from reviewing the records in-person at the registrar’s office, the college will make alternative arrangements to allow for inspection of the requested education records. Such arrangements will comply with FERPA and will be communicated to the student by the registrar.
Following the inspection, the Registrar will create a record that the inspection was conducted, including the initial request, the date and time of the inspection, a general description of the records inspected, the name of the adviser and the signed consent if an adviser is present. This record will be added to the student’s education record.
By law, the College is required to only consider requests to amend information contained in education records that is inaccurately recorded, misleading, or in violation of a students’ privacy rights. Requests for amendments such as a grade change or other substantive educational judgments, removal of materials such as received evaluations, any other decision of a college employee or official, or the outcome in a student conduct proceeding are not covered under the FERPA amendment process.
Students have the right to request amendment to education records if, after review, they believe any of the records to be inaccurate. To do so, a student must submit a request for amendment to the registrar’s office in writing, clearly identifying the records for amendment, as well as reasons the student feels the records are inaccurate. Any written request that does not include the required information will not be considered and the student will be notified in writing.
Upon receipt of a proper request for amendment, the college will make a determination within a reasonable amount of time, not more than 30 calendar days, as to whether the proposed correction is accepted or rejected. The registrar’s office will notify the requesting party of its decision in writing. A letter denying the request will state the reasons for the decision and notify the student of the right to request a hearing.
If proposed correction is denied, the student has the right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Individuals who wish to have a hearing as a result of a negative decision must contact the registrar within a reasonable amount of time, not more than 30 calendar days after the notification of the original decision is sent. The registrar will notify the student, within 30 business days, as to the date, time, and place of the hearing. In most circumstances, the hearing date will be within 45 business days of such notice so that the student may be prepared for the hearing. The hearing procedures outlined do not attempt to recreate or approximate a court of law.
- To present information and evidence concerning a clerical or recording error in the education record which needs to be corrected. The hearing is not an opportunity to review substantive decisions by college faculty or staff concerning evaluation of academic work or outcomes of disciplinary proceedings.
- To have a hearing officer who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing;
- To be advised by one or more individuals, including counsel;
- To have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence concerning requested corrections to the education record;
- To receive, within a reasonable period of time after the hearing, but not more than thirty business days, a written decision based solely on the evidence provided at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of evidence and reasons for the decision;
- To submit a statement into his or her education record commenting on the contested portion of the record which will be provided to any person who later views that portion of their education record if the amendment is denied.
- To select a hearing officer in accordance with FERPA requirements. The hearing officer may be any College official who does not have a direct interest in the hearing outcome. The Registrar will determine the appropriate college official to serve as hearing officer depending on the nature of the decision being appealed. The hearing shall in all respects be under the control of the hearing officer and shall not be subject to formal rules of evidence or procedure.
- To deny a request for a hearing when the proposed amendment to the education record includes anything more than correcting clerical errors.
- To schedule a hearing within a reasonable time, but not more than thirty business days, after receiving the hearing request.
- To provide evidence to the hearing officer to support the previous determination not to amend the student’s education record.
- To allow the student the opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised. The hearing officer has the right to determine whether particular evidence presented is relevant to the record and issue(s) in question.
- To make his or her decision solely on the evidence presented at the hearing.
- To provide the student with a timely written decision, including a summary of the evidence and reason for the decision.
If the hearing officer finds that the record is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of the student, the College will amend the record accordingly. The student will be notified in writing of the correction.
If the hearing officer finds that the information in the educational record is not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of the student, the College will notify the student of the right to place a statement in the record commenting on the contested portion of the record or stating why he or she disagrees with the decision not to amend, or both. The College will maintain this statement with the contested portion of the student’s education record for as long as the record is maintained. The statement will be disclosed whenever the College is required to disclose the portion of the record to which the statement relates.
The decisions that result from the hearing will be considered final.