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Student Right to Privacy: Family Educational Rights Act of 1974

Policies and Procedures at the University of Mount Olive

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the University of Mount Olive has adopted the following policies and procedures. It is the objective of the University to insure that legal rights of students, established under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, be clearly understood and protected by all those affected.

  1. All individuals who are attending or have attended the University of Mount Olive have a right to review and inspect their educational records.
  2. Requests by students for access to or copies of their educational records must be completed within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 45 days from the date of request. (Normally, records are out within a week.)
  3. An educational record is defined as data, in any form, about a student maintained by the University or a University official except:
    1. Records solely in the possession of the maker and not revealed in any form to a third party.
    2. Records related to employment.
    3. Records of physicians, psychiatrists, etc., that are maintained in the course of treating a student and used only for that purpose. Students do not have a right of access to those records, but they will be released to a physician or psychiatrist of a student's choice.
  4. Requests by students for access to or copies of their educational records must be made to the institutional official responsible for maintaining those records.
  5. All requests by students for access to their educational records may be made orally to the University official responsible for the record, unless said official asks that the request be in writing.
  6. Access to educational records will not be permitted to third parties unless:
    1. The student has given written consent to release the record; or
    2. The individual or agency requesting information is included under Section 99.31 of the Federal Regulations, which permits release of an educational record without the student's consent. Section 99.31 permits release to the following organizations or individuals without the student's consent:
      • To University of Mount Olive school officials who have a legitimate educational interest (See para 7)
      • To officials of other school systems in which the student seeks or intends to enroll
      • To certain Federal and State officials for auditing purposes
      • To persons or organizations involved in financial aid matters related to the student (includes preparing and/or submitting required reports to the Department of Education, other government entities or delivery of Title IV funds: National Student Clearinghouse, Ex$cel, BankMobile, Campus Partners and Williams & Fudge Inc.)
      • To organizations conducting studies for the University
      • To accrediting organizations
      • To parents of a dependent student (See para 8)
      • To comply with a judicial order or subpoena; provided that a reasonable effort to notify the student is made in advance
      • To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency
  7. A school official shall be defined as any individual affiliated with the University and carrying out an institutional responsibility. A legitimate educational interest shall be defined as a need of a University official to know the contents of an educational record in a context that is related to an institutional objective and is not in conflict with State or Federal law or University policy.
  8. Information from educational records will not be released to a student's parents without the consent of the student, unless the student is a dependent student. A dependent student is defined as a student who receives more than 50% of his or her support from parents. Before information is released to a parent, it is the responsibility of the University official receiving the parental request to make a good faith effort to contact the student for the purpose of determining if the student will give consent to the release of the educational record or wishes to challenge the parents' claim regarding dependency.

General Provisions

With certain exceptions, school officials of the University of Mount Olive will not disclose personally identifiable information from a student's record without prior written consent.

Directory Information is information that can be disclosed without the student's prior written consent unless the student has notified the Office of the Registrar to restrict release of that information. When a student requests to have any or all directory information restricted, a request to suppress form will be attached to the inside of the record. No information should be released regarding that student's record.

Directory information is defined as:

  • Student name, address (local address and grade/billing address), and telephone listing (local and grade/billing)
  • Electronic mail address
  • Date and place of birth
  • County, state, and/or U.S. territory from which the student originally enrolled (if a student enrolled from a foreign country, this is not directory information)
  • Major field of study
  • Class ranking (freshman, junior, senior)
  • Enrollment status (full-time, half-time)
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Dates of attendance
  • Anticipated date of graduation
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student

[Note: Parent name, address, and telephone number are not considered directory information.]

Non-directory information is information that must be protected. Persons receiving non-directory information are responsible for protecting the confidentiality of the students involved. They are not permitted to re-release this data to others without the prior written consent of the students involved.

Some recommended guidelines and practices regarding protecting the confidentiality of student records are shown below:

  • DO NOT display student scores or grades publicly in security numbers or other personal identifiers.
  • DO NOT put papers or lab reports containing student names and grades in publicly accessible places. Students may not have access to the scores and grades of others in the class.
  • DO NOT share student educational record information, including grades or GPA averages, with other faculty or staff members of the University unless their official responsibilities identify their legitimate educational interest in that information for that student.
  • DO NOT share by phone or correspondence information from student educational records, including grades or grade point averages, with parents or others outside the institution, including letters of recommendation, without written consent of the student.

Dependent Students may release personal information to their parents and/or guardians by completing the "Authorization Form" . Completed form must be filed with the Office of the Registrar.  Note: release of personal information to a spouse, sibling or other individual will require a power of attorney. 

Students may block the release of personal information to their parents and/or guardians once they are no longer considered a dependent for federal income tax purposes by completing the "Request to Suppress Form" . Completed form must be filed with the Office of the Registrar.