The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. In accordance with regulations issued under FERPA, the College of Charleston of Charleston provides an annual notification to our enrolled students of their rights under FERPA.

Under FERPA, when a student reaches 18 years of age or attends a postsecondary institution at any age, all rights under FERPA transfer from the student's parents/guardians to the student.

These rights include the following:

  • Right to Inspect and Review
    Students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the College of Charleston receives a request for access to those records.

  • Right to Amend
    Students have the right to rquest the amendment of their education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

  • Right to Consent
    Students have the right to consent to disclosures of of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

  • Right to File a Complaint
    Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO) concerning allegated failures by the College of Charelston to comply with FERPA requirements.

FERPA Definitions

Education Record — Any record(s) directly related to a student and maintained by the College of Charleston or a party acting for the College, including, but not limited to, grades, transcripts, class lists, student course schedules, student financial information and student discipline files. The information may be recorded in any way, including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, computer media, videotape, audiotape, film, microfilm, microfiche, and e-mail.

Directory Information — FERPA requires the College of Charleston to designate which information about students will be considered directory information.  Directory information may be released without consent.

The College of Charleston has designated the following information as directory information that may be released to third parties upon their request:
  • Student Name
  • Mailing address
  • College-issued e-mail address
  • Image/photograph of student (includes images from college yearbooks, College of Charleston publications and other official College of Charleston marketing media only)
  • Major field(s) of study
  • Class standing/Grade level (e.g. sophomore, junior, etc.)
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degree(s) received
  • Awards and honors received
  • Enrollment status (e.g. undergraduate, graduate, full-time or part-time)

Releasing and Restricting Academic Records

Under special circumstances, you may desire to restrict the release of your directory information, or provide for the release of non-directory information to a third party (parent, employer). View these other options for the release or restriction of your directory and non-directory information.
  • Restricting Release of Directory Information (Opt-Out)

    Students who do not wish the College to disclose directory information from their education records without prior written consent must submit a request to the Office of the Registrar to have this information withheld. 

    This request can be made electronically via the Release of Directory Information on the Student Profile in MyPortal or by completing a directory information opt-out form (PDF).  

    Note: When you graduate, your name, major(s), and Latin Honors (if applicable) will appear in the College of Charleston Commencement Program even if you have requested the withholding of Directory Information.  If you wish to be excluded from the Commencement Program, you must provide your signed, written request to the Registrar’s Office no later than October 1 for the December Commencement and March 1 for the May Commencement.

    Directory Info Release Opt-Out
  • Authorizing the Release of Non-Directory Information

    Disclosure of a student's confidential education record requires prior written consent of the student (unless disclosure is permitted under certain exceptions to FERPA set forth in Section 99.31 of the FERPA Regulations).

    Written consent may be obtained by using the Authorization and Consent to Release Education Records form:

    • The form may provide for a one-time release or it can be signed to allow a standing order for release until official revocation in the department where the Consent Form was filed.

    • The student indicates on the form the exact records which can be released by which office and to whom they may be released. (NOTE: Only the form which is on file can be used for the release of information and not a copy of a form brought in by a third party.)

    • If the student wishes to release their records from more than one Office (e.g., the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Student Affairs) then a separate form will need to be presented by the student and kept on file in each Office.

    • The College assumes a standing order is to be honored until the student revokes it. If a standing order for release is given, it is the student’s responsibility to revoke that order at the time the student no longer wishes to release his or her records to the third party(ies) noted.
    Consent to Release Records (PDF)
  • Parents and Guardians

    Under FERPA, when a student reaches 18 years of age or attends a postsecondary institution at any age, all rights under FERPA transfer from the student's parents/guardians to the student.

    As a result, all of your academic information regarding goes directly to the you unless your you provide written permission to release the information to your parents, guardian or other specified party. 

    That written permission may be obtained by using the Authorization and Consent to Release Education Records form (PDF).

    In addition, you can provide Proxy Access to specific information in your MyPortal account:

    We encourage you to consult with your family in planning for access to your education records. The quickest and easiest way for your parent(s) to receive information on your grades and academic progress is for you to provide it directly to your parent/guardian.

  • Solomon Amendment and FERPA

    The Solomon Amendment is a federal law that allows military recruiters to access some address, biographical and academic program information on students age 17 and older.

    Under the Solomon Amendment, Student Recruitment Information will be released for military recruitment purposes only.

    The Department of Education has determined the Solomon Amendment supersedes most elements of FERPA. An institution is therefore obligated to release data included in the list of “student recruiting information,” which may or may not match the College of Charleston's FERPA directory information list.

    However, if the student has submitted a request (electronically via the Student Profile in MyPortal or by submitting a directory information opt-out form) to the Office of the Registrar to restrict the release of Directory Information, then no information from the student's education record will be released under the Solomon Amendment.

    Information Designated by the Solomon Amendment as Student Recruitment Information:

    • Name 
    • Address
    • Telephone number
    • College-issued email address
    • Age 
    • Major 
    • Class Level (e.g. Freshman, Sophomore, etc.) 
    • Degree awarded

    Military recruiters may request Student Recruitment Information once each term or semester for each of the 12 eligible units within the five branches of the service:

    • Army: Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard
    • Navy: Navy, Navy Reserve
    • Marine Corps: Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserve
    • Air Force: Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air Force National Guard
    • Coast Guard: Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserve
  • Additional FERPA Forms

    Forms must be completed in black or blue ink and may not contain any marked out data. 

    Students may submit these forms in person with a valid state or U.S. government issued photo identification. Forms may not be submitted by another party on behalf of the student.  Students who are unable to bring a form in person may submit the form via postal mail or their college-issued email account. 

    The College of Charleston reserves the right to request further evidence to authenticate identity for all submitted requests, which may include notarized signatures and an affidavit.  All requests may be subject to review by the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA).

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