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FERPA Policy for Student Education Records

I. Statement of Policy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, is a federal law which provides regulations regarding the access, review, amendment, and disclosure of student education records. FERPA provides a student with the right to inspect and review his/her education records, to challenge the contents therein, to request a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is considered unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in the education records if the student determines that the decision of the hearing panel is unacceptable. FERPA also regulates the disclosure of student education records to other parties.

II. Access to Education Records

A. Right of Inspection and Review by Students:
FERPA permits current and former students the right to inspect and review their education records. Unsuccessful applicants for admission to the University are not covered by FERPA. FERPA rights are provided only to applicants upon actual acceptance and subsequent enrollment. When education records contain information on more than one student, access will be given only to the information pertaining to the inquiring student.

Education records are any records (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, email, or other medium) maintained by Fordham University, or an agent of the University, which are directly related to a student.

Records that are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records, and which the student may not inspect and review, include the following:

  • A personal record kept by a faculty or staff member if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, is not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record, and is not used for purposes other than a memory or reference tool.
  • Records made and maintained by Fordham University’s law enforcement unit for law enforcement purposes.
  • Records made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.
  • An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he/she is a student.
  • Alumni records which contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the university and which do not relate to the person as a student.
  • Grades on peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by a teacher.

    A student may not inspect or review the following education records:
     
  • Financial records, including any information those records contain, of a student’s parents.
  • Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in the education records of the student prior to January 1, 1975, provided that the records are used only for the purposes for which they were intended, and they were solicited, sent or maintained with a documented understanding or written assurance of confidentiality.
  • Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in the education records of the student after January 1, 1975 regarding admission to an educational institution, an application for employment, receipt of an honor or honorary recognition, provided that the student has waived his/her rights to inspect and review such letters or statements.

B. Procedures to Request Access to Education Records by Students:
The Office of Academic Records has been designated to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student education records. A student wishing to review his/her education records should write to the Office of Academic Records, or the Law School Registrar, clearly identifying the part of the record he/she wants to inspect and review. If seeking to amend a record, the student should specifically state why the record is inaccurate or misleading. The Office of Academic Records will collect the education records within the University relating to the inquiring student.

The Office of Academic Records will make the education records available to the student within forty-five (45) days of receipt of the written request.

C. Request for Explanation and Interpretation:
A student may request a response from the University for an explanation and interpretation of the records. Requests should be in writing to the Office of Academic Records.

D. Copying of Education Records:
A student may have copies made of his/her education records with certain exceptions (e.g. a copy of academic records for which a financial “hold” exists, or a transcript of an original or source document which exists elsewhere). Copies will be made at the student’s expense at the prevailing rate.