Notice of Student Rights with Respect to Education Records (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords you certain rights with respect to your education records. These rights include:
1) The right to inspect and review your education records (with certain limited exceptions) within 45 days of the day RISD receives your request for access. You should submit any such request to the Registrar’s Office in writing, identifying the records you wish to inspect. The Registrar’s Office will make arrangements for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Records that are customarily open for student inspection will be accessible without written request.
2) The right to request the amendment of your education records if you believe them to be inaccurate. You should submit any such request to the Registrar’s Office in writing, clearly identifying the records that you want to have amended and specifying the reasons you believe them to be inaccurate.
The Registrar’s Office will notify you of its decision and, if the decision is negative, of your right to a hearing regarding your request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to you at that time.
3) The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One such exception permits disclosure to “school officials” with “legitimate educational interests.” A “school official” is any person employed by RISD in any administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including public safety and health services staff); any person or company with whom RISD has contracted to provide a service to or on behalf of RISD (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); any person serving on RISD’s Board of Trustees; or any 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 the official’s professional responsibility.
Another such exception permits RISD to disclose your “directory information”, consisting of your name; local, home, and e-mail addresses; local and home telephone number; major field of study; enrollment status/rank (e.g., undergraduate or graduate; freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior; first-year, second-year, or third-year); dates of attendance; anticipated degree and degree date; degrees, honors, and awards received; participation in officially recognized activities; student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used by the student for purposes of accessing or communicating in electronic systems; most recent educational agency or institution attended; and photograph, to anyone within the RISD community and to the general public. Students who wish to have their directory information withheld must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing. (Please note that such a notification will prevent RISD from providing your directory information to your friends, prospective employers, arts organizations, and others with whom you may wish us to share such information, so make your decision carefully.) You may give such notification at any time, but it will be effective only prospectively. Students who do not wish to have their address (or other information) published in the student directory must notify the Registrar’s Office annually by no later than September 30.
Upon request, RISD also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or where the student is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer. Information on other such exceptions is available through the Registrar’s Office.
At or before the beginning of the Fall semester, each new student is sent a “Student Consent to Release Grades” form. By signing and returning this form to the Registrar’s Office, you may authorize RISD to release your grades and other information from your education records to your parents. This consent remains in effect until changed in writing with the Registrar’s Office. Continuing students who did not fill out the form as a freshman may do so at any subsequent time. If you choose not to file the form, you are urged to inform your parents of your decision.
4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by RISD 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.