Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Official Notification of Rights under FERPA.

Date:  July 1, 2017          

Link to the complete Act is found here.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.  They are: 

(1) The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University received a request for access.

Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect.  The University official will make arrangements 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 shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. (see list here

(2) The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading.  They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.  (Grade appeals are administered under separate University policy.)

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 requests 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 interest.  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, National Student Clearinghouse, Credentials, Inc. 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 discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. 

(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Eastern Illinois University to comply with the requirement 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                        

Note:  Possible Federal and State Data Collection and Use

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 (PII) 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 PII 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 PII 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 PII, 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 PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII 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.

Public Notification of Directory Information

At its discretion, Eastern Illinois University may provide “directory information” in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Directory information is defined as that information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclowed.  Designated directory information at Eastern Illinois University includes: name, E-number, local and home telephone numbers, local and home addresses, EIU e-mail addresses, Level (Undergraduate, Graduate, Post Baccalaureate), dates of attendance (including full or part-time status), degrees earned, honors and awards, majors, minors, concentrations, and options, and photographs for internal University use, including by the University Police Department.

Students who obtain a personal electronic mail account through the University should be aware that their name, student status, and e-mail "address" cannot be withheld from internet access.

Request to Withhold Directory Information

Eastern Illinois University students may request that directory information pertaining to them be withheld. To make such a request, the student needs to complete a "Request to Withhold Directory Information".

This form is effective until the student submits a signed, written request asking the restriction be revoked. If the form is not completed by the published deadline (4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 1, 2017 for Fall 2017), it is not possible for us to restrict the printing of your name in the Eastern directory and other lists generated on count day.

Before completing a "Request to Withhold Directory Information" you should carefully read the following:

  • If you request that all information be withheld, your presence on campus will not be acknowledged to anyone.
  • It will prevent the Office of the Registrar from verifying any information regarding your record to anyone, including yourself, over the telephone or in writing without your signed, written consent. If a call about your record is received, the following response will be given: "There is no information available on that person."
  • Consider carefully that this will stop any verification for purposes of employment, loans, credit card applications, insurance, etc. Anytime you need to contact us, it will need to be in writing or you will need to bring your I.D. to Room 1220 Old Main and inquire in person.
  • Your name will not be published in the commencement program.
  • A future revocation of this restriction must be in writing. The request for revocation should include your name and E-number, your written signature and a copy of a photo identification card or driver’s license, if the request is mailed to us. If you present the request in person, you will be asked to present a photo identification card or driver’s license before the restriction will be removed.

If after having considered this information you would like to request that directory information be withheld, complete this form and bring it to Room 1220 Old Main.