2019-2020 Student Handbook

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA is a federal law designed to provide university students with access to and control over the privacy of education records. It also provides guidelines for appropriately using and releasing student education records.

A Student's Rights Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 

In accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act 20 U.S.C. 1232g, commonly referred to as “FERPA” and the “Buckley Amendment”), Lesley University advises students as follows:

In accordance with FERPA, students are notified of the following rights:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the date Lesley University receives a request for access.  In order to request access to a student’s education records, a student should submit a written request to the University Registrar that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect.  The Registrar 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 Registrar, the Registrar will either obtain the records or advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights.  In order to request an amendment to student education records, a student must write to the University Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the records are not maintained by the Registrar, the Registrar will advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. 

    The University will review the request and decide whether to amend the record within a reasonable time after receiving the request.  If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s 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. If the hearing does not change the result, the student may put a statement in the student’s education record stating the student’s disagreement with the University’s decision. 

  3. The right to consent in writing to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Please see below for more information. 
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Lesley University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

    Family Policy Compliance Office 

    U.S. Department of Education 

    400 Maryland Avenue, SW 

    Washington, DC 20202

Disclosure of Information from Education Records without Student Consent:

FERPA regulations permit the disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student’s education records without the prior written consent of the student if the disclosure meets certain conditions.  Those conditions include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. The information is “directory information”, as permitted by FERPA and defined by Lesley University.  Lesley University defines directory information to mean the following:  student name, enrollment status, dates of attendance, major field of study, and degrees and awards received.

    For purposes of responding to United States and City of Cambridge census requests only, the University also designates student residence hall addresses and dates of birth as directory information.

    Students may request that Lesley University not release directory information to the public by completing a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information Form available in the Office of the University Registrar.

  2. The information is provided to other school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the information.  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 responsibilities for Lesley University.

    A school official is a person employed by Lesley University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including public safety personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance com­mittee; or any faculty member or administrator to whom or to whose office the student has addressed a request, application, or inquiry for which the records are needed to prepare a reply. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of Lesley University who performs an institutional service or function for which the University would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the University with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, emergency alert system, or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks.

  3. The information is provided in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility, amount, conditions, or enforcement of terms of such financial aid.
  4. The information is provided to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  5. The information is provided to parents or legal guardians of a student if the student is a dependent for federal tax purposes.
  6. The information is relevant to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
  7. The information is provided to accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
  8. The information is provided to parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21.
  9. The information is provided to the parents or guardians, school officials, government agents, and/or others, as appropriate, in connection with a health or safety emergency.

Military Access to Education Records: Under the Solomon Amendment, Lesley University may not in policy or practice prohibit or prevent the Secretary of Defense and his/her representatives from obtaining, for military recruiting purposes, entry to campus, access to students on campus, or access to directory information, nor may Lesley University institute an anti‑ROTC policy.  Pursuant to the Solomon Amendment, for the purpose of military recruiting, Lesley University must permit Department of Defense entities to obtain the following student information: name, address, telephone listing, age or year of birth, level of education (e.g., freshman, sophomore, or degree awarded for a recent graduate), and academic major. However, if a student has formally requested that such information be withheld from public disclosure, Lesley University may not provide such information to the Department of Defense entities.  See above for the process for requesting that such information be withheld from public disclosure.

FERPA Release Forms
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and subject to certain exceptions, the University may not release information pertaining to a student's education record to another individual unless authorized by the student.

See the Registrar’s web page at https://lesley.edu/students/policies/privacy-policy/family-educational-rights-and-privacy-act-and-related-regulations for the FERPA release forms, to approve the release of your education records to another individual.