ACCESS TO STUDENT RECORDS and the FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS & PRIVACY
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students
certain rights with respect to their education records.
(1) Students have the right to inspect and review their education
records within 45 days of the day the University receives an appropriate
request for access to those records.
Students who wish to inspect educational records should submit a written
request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect to the
appropriate custodian of the record (the registrar, dean, department
chair or head, or other appropriate University official). The University
official will make arrangements for the student to inspect the records
within 45 days of the request. 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 addressed (if known).
(2) Students have the right to request amendment of their educational
record if they believe that they are inaccurate or misleading.
To question the accuracy of education records, students should first
confer informally with the custodian or originator of the document in
question. If the results of this consultation are unsatisfactory,
students should write to the Director of the Office of Student Records
or other University official responsible for the record, clearly
identifying the portion of the record they want changed, and specifying
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. If necessary, the Office of Student Records shall
arrange a hearing with an official of the University who has no direct
interest in the disputed item. The decisions of this official shall be
final. Additional information regarding the hearing process will be
provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
(3) Students have a right to restrict the release of personally
identifiable information contained in their education records except to
the extent that FERPA permits disclosure without consent. Among the
circumstances in which disclosure is permitted without consent are
(a) Education records and personally identifiable information obtained
from those records may be disclosed without the student's consent to
school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school
official is a person employed by the University in an administrative,
supervisory, academic, research, or staff position (including law
enforcement unit 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 a 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 institutional duties.
(b) "Directory information" may be disclosed without prior consent.
Washington University has designated the following categories of
information as "directory information" and will release this information
without prior consent by the student: the student's name, addresses
(including e-mail addresses), telephone numbers, school, class, major
field of study, photographic, video or electronic images, participation
in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height (of
members of athletic teams), dates of attendance, degrees and awards
received, and the most recent previous school attended. Students have
the right to block disclosure of their directory information. Any
student wishing to do so should submit a written request to the Office
of Student Records, Campus Box 1143, St. Louis, Missouri 63130 or use
the "information restriction" screen of the on-line student access
system ("WebSTAC"). Such a request may be made at any time. However, the
University cannot alter printed materials which have already been
prepared (such as Ternion, the Washington University Telephone
Directory) and students are therefore advised to submit such requests no
September 1 of the relevant academic year.
(c) Education records and personally identifiable information obtained
from those records may, upon request, be disclosed without the student's
consent to officials of another school in which the student is enrolled
or seeks or intends to enroll.
(d) In exceptional circumstances, education records may be provided to
the parents of financially
dependent undergraduates. Washington University assumes that
undergraduate students are financial dependents of their parents (as
defined by the Internal Revenue Service) and, may, under appropriate
circumstances, provide education records to those parents without the
Undergraduate students who are not financially dependent and do not wish
to permit their parents access to their education records should advise
the Office of Student Records (and the Registrars of their Schools) in
writing and provide evidence of financial independence. Graduate and
professional students are not assumed to be financially dependent upon
their parents for these purposes and the University requires such
student's consent for the disclosure of education records to their
(e) In rare cases, Washington University may need to disclose personally
identifiable information where necessary to address health or safety
emergencies involving the student or any other individual.
(f) The University is required to provide information about certain
foreign nationals to the Immigration and Naturalization Service or the
Department of State.
(g) The University must comply with lawfully issued law enforcement
subpoenas or orders consistent with section 1232g(i) (law enforcement)
or 1232g(j) (terrorism investigations) of Title 20 of the United States
Code. Before complying with a subpoena or order under section 1232g(i)
(but not section 1232g(j)), the University must make a reasonable effort
to notify the student unless the subpoena or order instructs otherwise.
(4) Students have 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. The office that administers FERPA is the
Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400
Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, 20202-4605.
For further information regarding Washington University policies
regarding the confidentiality of student records, contact the Office of
Student Records, One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1143, St. Louis,