FERPA - Family Educ. Rights & Privacy Act

When a student turns 18 or begins attending a postsecondary institution at any age, the rights under The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) transfer from the parents to the student. FERPA law is designed to protect the privacy of your student's educational records and gives the student the right to:

  • Have access to educational records
  • Seek to have their records amended
  • Have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records

Current or formerly enrolled students are protected under the act. Students who have applied, but have not attended are not protected. Below you will find the full FERPA policy and additional details.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their educational records.  (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.)  These rights include:

1.      The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day Bowling Green State University (BGSU) receives a request for access.  A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes 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 school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall 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, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.

If the university decides not to amend the record as requested, the university will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s 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 provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without con­sent. 

The university discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to university officials with legitimate educational interests.  A university official is a person employed by the BGSU in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law en­forcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance com­mittee.  A university official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the University who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the university with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another university official in performing his or her tasks.  A university official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educa­tion record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for BGSU.

4.      The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the BGSU 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

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to university officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, § 99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student —

·        To other university officials, including teachers, within BGSU whom the university has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the university has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))

·        To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2))

·        To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)

·        In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§ 99.31(a)(4))

·        To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the university, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§ 99.31(a)(6))

·        To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§ 99.31(a)(7))

·        To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§ 99.31(a)(8))

·        To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§ 99.31(a)(9))

·        To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36. (§ 99.31(a)(10))

·        To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of § 99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§ 99.31(a)(13))

·        To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of § 99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§ 99.31(a)(14))

·        To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the university, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))

·        Information the university has designated as "Directory Information" under § 99.37. (§ 99.31(a)(11)) which has been designated as:

  • Student's name, address, telephone number, and university/personal e-mail address
  • Fields of Study such as majors and minors, and campus
  • Academic Level (freshman, sophomore for example) and enrollment status (full-time or part-time)
  • Participation in officially recognized sports and activities
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Dates of attendance at BGSU
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Most recent previous educational institution attended by the student, if known
  • Photographs of student

·        Information the university has designated as “Health Directory Information” - Disclosures of the following “Health Directory Information” will be limited to a “Public Health Authority” for the purpose of controlling or preventing the spread of a “disease of major public health concern.”  A “Public Health Authority” is an agency or authority of the United States government, a State, a territory, or a political subdivision of a State or territory, that is responsible for public health matters as part of its official mandate, as well as a person or entity acting under a grant of authority from, or under a contract with, a public health agency.  A “Disease of major public health concern” is one designated by the Ohio Department of Health because of the severity of disease or potential for epidemic spread.  At its discretion the university may provide a Public Health Authority with the following information upon written request from the Public Health Authority:

  • Student's name, local address, local telephone number, and e-mail address
  • Student's home address and home telephone number
  • Student's date of birth
  • Participation in officially recognized sports and activities
  • Course enrollment and attendance
  • Full-time or part-time enrollment status

BGSU students may restrict the release of "Directory Information/Health Directory Information" at any point throughout the year by downloading the form above. Once complete, please send the from your BGSU email to Registration and Records via registrar@bgsu.edu.

Bowling Green State University is required to annually provide each enrolled student various consumer information.  BGSU has compiled all required information on one page, thus you may go to this link to view all consumer information – http://www.bgsu.edu/financial-aid/important-consumer-information.html

Updated: 10/02/2023 11:22AM