Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Misericordia University recognizes the privacy rights of individuals who are or who have been students, as guaranteed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. No information from records, files, or data directly related to a student shall be disclosed to individuals or agencies outside the university without the express written consent of the student. FERPA does authorize disclosure without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests who need to review an education record in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities. The following people or agencies are also allowed access to records without consent: persons or companies with whom the university has contracted (such as attorneys, auditors, or collection agents); students serving on official committees, such as disciplinary or grievance committees, or assisting other school officials in performing their tasks; persons or organizations to whom students have applied for financial aid; persons in compliance with a lawful subpoena or court order; and persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
The university considers the following to be public information which may be made available, at its discretion, without prior consent of the student:
- student name
- hometown and state
- electronic mail address
- dates of attendance
- awards and honors received in the curricular and co-curricular life of the university
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- weight and height of members of athletic teams
- the most recent previous educational institution attended by the student
- individually identifiable photographs of the student solicited by or maintained directly by Misericordia University as part of the educational record.
A student wishing to prevent the public disclosure of any or all of the above information may request so by notifying the registrar's office, where she or he may obtain the form prohibiting disclosure.
Except where prescribed by law, information regarding a student's educational records may not be disclosed to a parent, guardian or spouse without the student's written authorization on file in the registrar's office.
FERPA affords students the right to inspect and review their educational records within 45 days of the day the university receives such requests. Students should submit to the registrar official written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
Students have the right to request the amendment of any educational records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record that they want 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 appeal the decision. Additional information regarding the appeal will be provided to the student when notified.
For more information regarding FERPA, please contact the office of the registrar in Mercy Hall, Room 115. Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Misericordia 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
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information contained in such records—including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information—may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to your records and private information without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and private information without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your private information, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent private information from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such private information to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.