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P507: STUDENT ACCESS TO EDUCATION RECORDS

Issued by:
Registrar's Office
Approved:
January 1977
Updated:
December 2021

Policy

Subject to the limitations contained herein, students and former students may inspect their education records at any time. The University normally limits inspections to not more than three requests annually, except for the permanent academic record (transcript), which is available at all times.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) mandates that:
  • Education records will be open to inspection and correction.
  • Recorded information will not be made freely available to individuals outside the University without consent of the student. FERPA permits current and former students to inspect their education records and accords them the right to challenge the contents of such records. Written consent of the student is required before personally identifiable information from education records will be released to other persons.
University Stipulations
The University is not required to permit students to inspect the following:
  • Financial records of parents.
  • Confidential letters placed in the education record before January 1, 1975.
  • Letters of recommendation or reference received after January 1, 1975 for which the right of inspection has been waived.
  • Records of instructional, supervisory and administrative personnel that are in the sole possession of the maker and only for the use of their author.
Education records are not made available routinely to parents. Parents, guardians and other individuals must obtain the written permission of a student or establish the student's status as a dependent (IRS Code of 1954, Section 152) to inspect the student's education records.
The University may disclose, without written consent, the education records of students to officials of institutions in which they seek to enroll.
The University complies with lawfully issued subpoenas for students' records. Reasonable attempts will be made to inform students of all disclosures made pursuant to subpoenas.
The University may disclose to the victim the results of any student disciplinary determination related to an alleged crime of violence, upon the victim's request, without further authorization by the disciplined student.
The University may disclose education records to parents in a health or safety emergency situation involving their student.
Records of Access
The University maintains records of all persons who have obtained access to the education records of students (except for those listed below). These records are available for inspection by students.
No record is kept when:
  • Students inspect their own records.
  • Disclosures are made in response to students' written requests.
  • Requests are for directory information.
  • Authorized faculty or staff of the University or others authorized by the University, are granted access for a legitimate educational purpose.
Challenge to Content of Education Records
Students who believe information contained in their education records is inaccurate, misleading, or violates their privacy or other rights may request an amendment of the contents. Initially, the matter is to be discussed with the records custodian. If the custodian does not agree to amend, the student will be advised of the following options:
  • To let the matter stand, and/or request the custodian to include in the record a statement from the student taking exception to the record.
  • To request an amendment of the record. The request to amend the record should include the following information: the identity of the record the student wants changed and the specific part of the record that the student wants changed; and how the record is inaccurate, misleading, or violates their privacy or other rights. There is no obligation on the part of the University to grant such a request. If the University declines to amend the record as requested by the student, it will inform the student and the student may then request a hearing.
Hearings
If the University declines to amend a student's record as requested, the student has the right to a hearing. A request for a hearing should be directed to the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management. The hearing will be held within a reasonable time after the University receives the student's request for it. The hearing will be conducted by an official of the University, who does not have a direct interest in its outcome. At the hearing, the student may be assisted or represented by one or more individuals, including legal counsel, of the student's choice at the student's expense. Within a reasonable time following the hearing, the hearing officer will make their determination. This determination will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing and will include a summary of that evidence and the reasons for the conclusions reached. If the decision of the official is to amend the record, the record will be amended and the student will be given written notice of the amendment. If the decision is not to amend the record, the student will be informed that they have the right to place a written statement in their record, which will be kept in the file as long as the file itself is kept. The decision of the hearing officer is final.
Any statement by the student, commenting on the contents of the education record, will be made available for inspection on the same basis as the contested record.
After administrative remedies offered by the University have been exhausted, inquiries or complaints may be filed with the Family Policy and Compliance Office, U. S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3021-6534, Washington D.C., 20202.
Directory Information
Certain information concerning students is considered to be open to the public upon inquiry. This public information is called directory information and includes the following:
  • Name, Local Address, Local Telephone
  • Program of Student (including college of enrollment and major)
  • Enrollment Status (e.g. Full-time, Part-time, Withdrawn)
  • Degrees and Awards Received
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Date of Graduation
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
Students may request that the University not furnish personally identifiable information by completing a "Request to Suppress/ Release Directory Information".

Inquiries

Office of the Registrar
Stony Brook Union, Suite 206
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3221
(631) 632-6175

Related Forms

All forms listed above are available on the Registrar's Office website, at: https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/registrar/forms/forms.php?accordion=undefined

Relevant Standards, Codes, Rules, Regulations, Statutes, and Policies


Created by Application Support for Administration
University Policy Manual @ Stony Brook University