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Students’ Rights and Disclosure of Your Directory Information
Students and former students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days from making such a request. The institution is not required to permit students to inspect and review the following:
- Information about other students.
- Financial records of parents.
- Confidential letters of recommendation if they waived their right of access.
If a student believes his or her education records contain information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her rights of privacy or other rights, he or she may ask the University to amend the record. The student should write to the College official responsible for the record or contact the University Director of Privacy at (973) 972-8000 and clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. The University will review the request within a reasonable period of time and make a determination regarding the request. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, it shall inform the student of its decision and of the student’s right to a hearing. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student upon notification of the right to a hearing.
If as a result of the hearing the University decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, it shall amend the record accordingly and inform the student of the amendment in writing. If the University decides that the information in the education record is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, it shall inform the student of his or her right to place a statement in the record commenting on the contested information in the record or stating why he or she disagrees with the decision of the University. This statement will be maintained as part of the education record as long as the contested portion of the record is maintained, and whenever a copy of the education record is sent to any party, the student’s statement will be included. The FERPA amendment procedure may not be used to challenge a grade, an opinion, or a substantive decision made by a school about an eligible student
When do FERPA rights begin?
A student’s FERPA rights begin when the student registers for his/her first class.
Confidentiality of Your Student Directory Information
One of your rights under FERPA relates to the confidentiality of information contained in your education records. As a general rule, Rutgers may not disclose “personally identifiable information” from your education records to anyone outside of the University without your prior written consent. There are a number of exceptions to this general rule. One of the exceptions relates to “directory information.” Rutgers may disclose or release directory information about you without your prior consent provided Rutgers does the following:
- informs you what we define as directory information; and
- provides you the opportunity to request that directory information not be disclosed.
What is the Definition of Directory Information at Rutgers?
Rutgers defines directory information to be the following:
- campus address
- campus post office address
- campus telephone number
- date of birth
- Rutgers e-mail address
- RUCS user name / NetID
- permanent (home) address
- permanent (home) telephone number
- school of attendance
- major field of study
- class year
- dates of attendance
- current credit load
- credit hours earned
- degrees received
- dates of degrees
- weight and height of intercollegiate athletes
- most recent previous school attended
- honors and awards
- participation in officially recognized activities
- internships (Applies only to RBHS graduate and professional schools)
- residency or other post-completion placements (Applies only to RBHS graduate and professional schools)
Date of Birth
It is the practice of the University to not release a student’s date of birth except as required by law or as a validation of positive identification of a student when furnished by a person making an inquiry.
How is Directory Information Disclosed by Rutgers?
The most common ways in which Rutgers discloses your directory information are:
- Rutgers Online Directory
The Rutgers Online Directory is a database of Rutgers students, faculty and staff that is available through the Rutgers homepage and accessible worldwide via the Internet.
- Verifications Division – University Registrar
The Verifications Division of the University and RBHS school registrars confirm to prospective employers, credit agencies, educational institutions and others that you are enrolled at Rutgers. This usually occurs when you have filed a job, school or credit application and the recipient needs to verify information on the application.
How can I prevent disclosure of my Directory Information?
To prevent Rutgers from disclosing your directory information, you should do the following:
- Rutgers Online Directory
You control the information that appears in the Rutgers Online Directory. Visit the Directory on the Rutgers homepage and follow the instructions. You may display or hide any of the information in your listing and/or update certain information. You can make changes to your listing as often as you wish. Hiding information on the Rutgers Online Directory means that the information you hide cannot be seen by the public; however, all your information is still available to designated Rutgers officials for internal use. Hiding information on the Rutgers Online Directory also does not limit other disclosures of your Directory Information (e.g., disclosures by the Verifications Division of the Registrar to potential employers).
- All Other Disclosures
To keep your directory information completely confidential except for internal Rutgers use, please complete the form: Student Directory Confidentiality Selection. Submitting this form will make your directory information confidential until you make a written request to the appropriate campus University Registrar to lift this restriction. Please be advised that requesting full confidentiality of your Directory Information will make this information unavailable to prospective employers, insurance companies, and others to whom you may want this information known or verified. Thus it is recommended that students carefully consider whether personal privacy concerns outweigh the potential inconvenience of having directory information withheld.
For more information on how to keep your directory information confidential contact:
University Ethics and Compliance
Director of Privacy
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
65 Bergen Street, Suite 1346
Newark, NJ 07107
Phone: (973) 972-8000
Fax: (973) 972-7174
When may the University allow access to my records without my consent?
Under FERPA, there are specific situations where the University may release your records without your consent. They are listed below.
- School employees who have a “legitimate educational interest” in the records in order to perform their duties
- Other schools where a student seeks to enroll or is enrolled
- Accrediting organizations
- Organizations doing certain studies for or on behalf of the University
- Appropriate parties to determine eligibility, amount or conditions of financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of aid
- Parents of a “dependent student,” as defined in the Internal Revenue Code, when the parent has provided a notarized affidavit, along with a copy of the relevant page of the parent’s most recent income tax return indicating the student’s dependent status. Affidavits must be updated annually, otherwise, prior written permission from the student is required (NOTE: Rutgers University does not consider that tax status of a student sufficient to waive student authorization.)
- Certain government officials of the U. S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with an audit, authorized representatives of the U. S. Attorney General for law enforcement purposes or state or federally supported education programs
- Individuals who have obtained a judicial order or subpoena
- School officials who have a need to know concerning disciplinary action taken against a student
- Appropriate parties who need to know in cases of health and safety emergencies when necessary to protect the student and/or others
- An alleged victim of a crime of violence or non-forcible sexual offense has a right to learn the results of a disciplinary proceeding conducted by the institution against the alleged perpetrator of the crime.
- Information regarding any violation of university policy or state, federal or local law, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance may be released to the parents or legal guardian of a student under the age of 21
- Those requesting “directory information” on a student provided the student has not requested his or her information be withheld
- Approved vendors /3rd party operators contracted with the university to provide services
Additional Disclosure of Student Information without Prior Consent
There are a number of exceptions to the general rule prohibiting disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records without prior consent of the student. You may receive a list by contacting the University Ethics and Compliance Director of Privacy, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Some common exceptions used by Rutgers are set forth below; however there are other exceptions where education records are released without prior consent not listed here.
- FERPA permits disclosure to Rutgers officials with legitimate educational interest in the records being sought. A Rutgers official is a person employed by Rutgers in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support 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 Governors or Board of Trustees, a student serving on an official committee such as a disciplinary hearing board, or a student who is assisting another school official in performing his or her job responsibilities. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her job responsibilities.
- Rutgers will, upon request, disclose education records to officials of another institution of higher education at which a student seeks to enroll without obtaining the student’s prior consent. Rutgers will also send to other higher education institutions corrected or additional records if education records have previously been sent to that institution under this exception.
Does FERPA apply after I graduate?
An educational agency or institution may disclose directory information about former students without complying with the notice and opt out conditions in paragraph (a) of this section. However, the agency or institution must continue to honor any valid request to opt out of the disclosure of directory information made while a student was in attendance unless the student rescinds the opt out request
May I inspect and review my records?
Students wishing to exercise their rights to inspect and review their education records should submit a written request to the appropriate official at the Rutgers office which is custodian of the records they wish to review. The Rutgers official will make arrangement for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Students who do not know which Rutgers office is the custodian of the records they wish to inspect should contact their Dean of Students or the Office of Student Affairs Compliance.
May I amend my records?
Students requesting amendment of education records should write to the College official responsible for the record or contact the University Director of Privacy at (973) 972-8093 and clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the record custodian denies the request to amend the record, the student will be notified of the decision and advised of his/her right to a formal hearing. A student will obtain additional information on the hearing procedure after an amendment request has been denied.
FERPA and Medical Records (HIPAA)- are my health records at the student clinic FERPA or HIPAA?
Health records of care received at University run clinics fall under FERPA, but not as Education Records, but as Medical Records. These medical records have their own rules on how and when they can be disclosed, even to the student. Generally, these records at not subject to HIPAA.