Confidentiality of Student Records (FERPA)
The Peralta Community College District regards the following as “Directory Information” which can be released to the public: student’s name, current enrollment status, dates of attendance, major field of study, degrees, and awards received from the College, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, the most recent public or private school attended by the student. If you desire to withhold “Directory Information,” you must file a written request with the Financial Aid Office and Admissions & Records Office.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (known as “FERPA”), all other student information, excluding that designated as Directory Information, cannot be released to a third party without written permission submitted to the college by the student. This law applies to all students attending Merritt College, regardless of the student’s age.
Merritt College maintains student records to ensure the privacy of all such records in accordance with statues set forth in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. By law, the college shall not permit access to or release of records or information to outside agencies without an educational interest unless the College obtains the student’s written permission. This statute applies regardless of the student’s age. Once a student under the age of 18 is admitted, they are considered a college student and this law applies to their records.
The one area of student records that can be released is called “Directory Information.” Directory information is defined as student’s name, current enrollment status, dates of attendance, major field of study, degrees and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and the most recent public or private school attended by the student. Directory information will only be blocked from release by written request of the student. Students may file a written release to block such information in the Admissions & Records office. The College, at its discretion, may limit or deny the release of student directory information to public or private persons or organizations based on the best interests of the students.
In accordance with the privacy act, the College also has the right to release students’ records to institutions and agencies on the basis of educational interest. These are examples of situations where records would be released on the basis of educational interest: college officials, state and federal educational and auditing officers, requests in connection with the application for or receipt of financial aid, subpoenas, recovery services, and court orders.
Any student has the right to inspect and review his or her student records, within five days of making an official request. The student may challenge the accuracy of the record or the appropriateness of its retention. Records maintained under this statue include, but are not limited to information regarding college admission, registration, academic history, official transcripts from other schools and colleges, career, student benefits or services, extra-curricular activities, counseling and guidance, discipline or matters related to student conduct and any other information the college feels appropriate. All official transcripts from other schools and colleges become property of the College upon receipt and photocopies are not released.
The College makes a reasonable charge for furnishing copies of any student record, except for the normal College procedures that apply to transcript requests. Particular questions with respect to students’ rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 should be directed to Admissions & Records.
For more information about FERPA, please visit: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.
The Peralta Community College District FERPA Release form is available at https://web.peralta.edu/admissions/files/2020/04/Authorization-for-Release-of-Student-Records-2020-need.pdf