The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Students have specific, protected rights regarding the release of such records and FERPA requires that institutions adhere strictly to these guidelines. Texarkana College annually informs students through an e-mail notification and our website about their rights as a student.

Student Rights

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford students certain rights:

  1. The right to inspect and review educational records.
  2. The right to seek the amendment of educational records if the student believes they are inaccurate or misleading.
  3. The right to consent to disclosure of educational records.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Texarkana College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Education Records

Educational records are those records, files, documents or other materials which contain information directly related to a student and that are maintained by an employee or agent of the college. Employment records relating to college students who are employees as a result of their status as students are also considered educational records.

Education Records DO NOT Include:

  • Records made by college personnel that are sole possession of the maker and not revealed to any other person
  • Records maintained by the College Police for law enforcement purposes
  • Counseling and Medical records
  • Alumni records
  • Employment records relating to an individual who is employed by the college not as a result of their status as a student
  • Directory Information
  • Records of individuals who have applied to the college, but have not attended.
  • In compliance with the Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), Texarkana College is prohibited from providing certain information including grades, bills, financial aid, and other student record information to any third party unless the student gives us written permission. This restriction applies, but is not limited to your parents, guardians, spouse, and your employer. Each student has the right to grant Texarkana College permission to release information about your records to a third party by completing and submitting the FERPA Student Information Release Authorization Form.
  • Generally, the college must have written, signed, and dated permission from the student before releasing information from the students records. Directory information is the only information that the college may disclose freely, but it is not required to do so. A student may request that their directory information is not disclosed. Under certain “official” circumstances, confidential (non-directory) education records can be released without a student’s prior consent. Educational records may be disclosed, without prior consent, within the secured offices of the college.

Texarkana College has established the following information as Student Directory Information and can release this information without student consent.

  • Student’s name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • College email address
  • Major
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees awarded
  • Full and part-time status
  • Enrollment and withdrawal verifications
  • Student classification
  • Student identification (ID) number
  • Most recent previous institution attended

Students wishing to have their information NOT released must complete the confidential request form in the Office of Admissions. Once the signed restriction form is submitted to the Office of Admissions, the restrictions will remain in effect beyond or until they are removed by the student. Download a Student Directory Information Restrictions Request Form.

Under certain circumstances, confidential (non-directory) education records can be released without a student’s prior consent to following persons, organizations, or representatives.

  • University officials who have a legitimate education interest.
  • Officials of another school in which the student seeks or intends to enroll, or was previously enrolled.
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied and for the purpose of determining eligibility and/or amount of aid.
  • To federal, state, and local authorities involved in an audit or evaluation of compliance with education programs.
  • To organizations conducting studies on behalf of educational institutions.
  • To accrediting organizations in order to carry out accrediting functions.
  • In compliance with a judicial order or subpoena.
  • To appropriate parties in a health/safety emergency.
  • To a court when the school initiates legal action against a student giving the student prior notice.
  • To an alleged victim of a crime of violence or sexual harassment offense, as long as it contains only the results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime.
  • Parents who claim the student as a dependent for tax purposes.
  • Drug and alcohol violations can be disclosed to parents of students under 21 years of age.