Student Right to Know, Privacy, Records, and FERPA

Student Right to Know Law

Russell Sage College will provide information regarding graduation and persistence rates, in accordance with provision of the federal Student Right to Know Law. The information is available from the Office of the Registrar. In addition, Russell Sage College publishes required information under the Campus Security Act in a safety and security brochure and posts the information on the Office of Public Safety web page, https://www.sage.edu/about/offices-centers/public-safety/.

Privacy and Confidentiality (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment), passed in 1974, regulates the procedures for handling student records. According to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the Act was designed to ensure that students and parents (in cases where the student is considered a dependent) would have specific educational records made accessible for reasons of inspection and correction and to restrict the release of most records, so as not to violate their privacy and confidentiality when student consent is lacking.

According to the Act, the following records are not accessible:

  • financial records of a student’s parents;
  • confidential letters of recommendation received prior to January 1, 1975;
  • confidential letters of recommendation for which the student has signed a waiver of access; and
  • records created and maintained by a professional for the sole purpose of treating the student (i.e., records kept by a college physician, psychiatrist, or counselor). The student may choose a qualified professional to review these records.

Student Authorization Form (FERPA)

The waiver form found on Sage.edu (https://www.sage.edu/academics/academic-resources/registrar/academic-record/) is active for one academic year. This form is used to create a pass-code for your student record. The College reserves the right not to disclose confidential information over the phone. Only inquiries that can be verified with the correct answers will be considered appropriate for discussion. For third parties: only individuals specifically named on this form and who can answer the challenge questions can make inquiries regarding your student record. If you choose to change your authorized individuals you will need to resubmit this form changing your challenge questions and answers.

Access to Directory and Records Information

The College is permitted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment) to make directory information about students available to the public. Directory information includes:

  • Student’s name
  • Address, Phone listing, and Email address
  • Major field of study
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Dates of attendance, degrees and awards received
  • Most recent previous educational agency attended

If a student would prefer that this information not be made public, the student may inform the College of this at any point during his or her academic career. Request forms to withhold this information from the public are available at the Registrar’s Office.

Records Inspection

The following student records are available for inspection at the specified locations:

Registrar’s Office Transcript of grades*
  Grade lists*
  Academic warning, probation and suspension lists*
  Transfer credit records
  Degree information
  General student records
Student Life/Residence Life Judicial records
Office of Public Safety Parking/traffic violations lists*
   
Dean’s Office Dean’s List
   
Academic Support Center HEOP records

*The entire content will not be released, only the data directly related to the individual requesting access.

Procedures for Review of Records

The Act specifies that a college official has 45 days to respond to a student’s request to view their records. Sage will initially respond to a request by setting up an appointment with the student within the 45 day period. Ideally, the student will be able to access the records within a couple of weeks.

All records must be reviewed in the presence of a College official. The student may be asked to show proper identification to the college official and sign a permit form. Students may request a copy of their records in most cases, but the College is entitled to charge for copies. Copies cannot be made of records when a “hold” status exists or when the names of other students or information related to other students are involved (i.e., restricted records such as a grade list).

Inspection and Correction of Records

If a student wishes to challenge any part of a record, it may be done informally by addressing the issue with the administrator in charge of the record in question. If an agreement cannot be reached, the student should request a hearing with the Dean of the College. If the student still believes that their rights are being violated after following the above procedure, an investigation can be requested by the Review Board of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202. An investigation could lead to a hearing.

Access to Records by Another Party

Each individual record will include the names of those persons not employed by the College who request or obtain access to a student record. The legitimate interest of the person making the request will also be recorded. The College permits third parties to gain access to students’ records when requests come from:

  • a person designated by the student with the student’s written consent;
  • an accrediting agency doing a college evaluation;
  • certain federal or state agencies;
  • officials of other schools in which a student seeks acceptance or intends to enroll when the student requests that the information be released; or
  • other faculty members, administrators, or staff members who either seek access for a legitimate educational reason or who are required to handle the records as part of their official duties at the College.

Student records, except for the permanent transcript and certification of completion required for state licensure in some academic programs, are kept for a period of seven years from the date of graduation or last attendance. The permanent transcript is maintained “forever” in the Office of the Registrar. The certification of completion, if required for licensure, is maintained in the academic program office.