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What is FERPA?

Family Educational Rights and Privacy

The La Sierra University Student Records Policy was developed in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), commonly referred to as the Buckley Amendment. This law was enacted to protect the privacy of students and to provide for the right to inspect and review educational records. Any questions concerning this amendment may be directed to the Records Office.

La Sierra University complies strictly with all provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal statute passed into law  in 1974 that provides the basis for dealing with student information at post-secondary educational institutions. FERPA regulations ensure a minimum standard for the access to, the use of, and the release of information from education records. All students have:

A. The right to inspect and review their education records within a reasonable time frame. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The university 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 university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be submitted.

B. The right to request the amendment of their education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the university to amend a record they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the university official responsible for the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her 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.

C. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in their education records, except to the extent that university policy authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in a managerial, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

D. The right to file a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Complaints can be directed to:

Family Policy Compliance Office, 
U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW. Washington, D.C. 
20202 – 4605.

E. The right to withhold the release of directory information. Directory information may be released by the university to third parties as it sees fit without authorization. Directory Information shall include information in an educational record which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, including but not limited to:

  • Student Name
  • Local Address and Phone Number
  • E-mail Address
  • Date and Place of Birth
  • Degrees and Awards Received and Dates
  • Dates of Attendance (Current or Past)
  • Full or Part-time Enrollment Status
  • Participation in Officially Recognized Activities
  • Weight/Height of Members of Athletic Teams
  • Most Recently Attended Educational Institution
  • Major Field of study
  • Academic Level
  • Residency Status
  • Photographs

Students have the right to have the above directory information withheld completely. This means the university will not release any information from the educational record, including the items listed above, without prior written consent from the student. If a student withholds directory information, his or her name will not appear in the student directory or SALSU Perspectives unless they authorize the Perspectives staff to do so. To request directory information be withheld, the student must complete a form at the Records Office. The form remains in effect through the end of the academic year and must be resubmitted annually.

La Sierra University does not release any student’s directory information to vendors for commercial purposes (credit card agencies, magazine sales, etc.).

Further information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, subsequent amendments, and HEW guidelines are available at the Records Office and the offices of each University college and school dean. Information can also be found in the Student Handbook.

If you are a parent and want access to your student's information, you will need to print out one of the following forms, have your student fill it out, and turn it into to the appropriate department.

C-SAS (Advising) Form (This form would allow you to speak to your student's advisors)

Student Financial Services (Select the Financial Information Release form for the year needed, this form would allow you to speak to Financial Services about your student)



"The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

Generally, schools must have written permission from the eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell eligible students about directory information and allow eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school."


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