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The Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act of 1974

James Madison University adheres to and annually informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended. This act, with which the institution intends to comply fully, was designated to protect the privacy of educational records. Under the FERPA, students have certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic unit, or other appropriate official written requests that identify the record(s) he or she wishes to inspect. The university official will arrange for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official should advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. A student may ask the university to amend a record that he or she believes is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record he or she wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the university may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. The following is considered "Directory Information" at James Madison University and may be made available to the general public unless the student notifies the Office of the Registrar in person or in writing within five days after the first day of class registration: Student's name, telephone numbers, addresses, date and place of birth, major and minor fields of study, college of major and year (first-year, sophomore, etc.), enrollment status (full-time or part-time) including credit hours, dates of attendance, degree sought and time, degrees conferred, awards and honors conferred, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams; the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student; and fraternity and/or sorority and educational societies.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by James Madison University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
For more information refer to JMU Policy 2112.