FERPA and Release of Information

Your Rights Under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. If you’re thinking about attending DWU, we advise you and your parents to review the FERPA information.

As a student, you have the right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days from the day DWU receives a request for access. Please submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department or other appropriate official a written request that identifies the record(s) you wish to inspect. The university official will then make arrangements for access and notify you 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 will advise you of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

You may ask the university to amend a record that you believe is inaccurate or misleading. If you wish to do this, write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record you want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

Please note that FERPA was not intended to provide a process to be used to question the substantive judgments which are correctly recorded. The rights of challenge are not intended to allow students to contest, for example, a grade in a course because they felt a higher grade should have been assigned.

If DWU decides not to amend the record as requested, you will be notified in writing of the decision as well as the right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to you when notified of the right to a hearing.

Definitions and Other Legal Information About FERPA

The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations.

DWU can disclose education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. 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 serving on the board of trustees or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee.

A school 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 school with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from educational records, such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist 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 for the university. 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 personally identifiable 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 personally identifiable 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 personally identifiable 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 personally identifiable information from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such personally identifiable 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.

You have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by DWU 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

Directory Information

These items listed below are designated as "directory information" and may be released for any purpose at the discretion of DWU.

Under the provisions of FERPA, as amended, you have the right to withhold the disclosure of the "Directory Information." Should you decide to inform DWU not to release this "Directory Information," any future requests for such information from non-institutional persons or organizations will be refused.

DWU will honor your request to withhold the "Directory Information" listed below, but cannot assume responsibility to contact you for subsequent permission to release them. Regardless of the effect upon you, DWU assumes no liability for honoring your instructions that such information be withheld.

“Directory Information” at DWU is defined as:

Student name, telephone number, address, campus mail box #, parents' names, hometown, high school attended, email address, dates of attendance, full time/part time status, honors, awards, special recognition, degree(s) received, major, classification (Senior, Junior, etc.), activity, photographs (still and video) and sports participation (including height and weight of team members).

If you choose to withhold directory information, you must complete a "Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information" at the registrar's office by the end of the add/drop period. A new form for non-disclosure must be completed each academic semester. When you leave the university, the non-disclosure will remain in effect until you rescind it.

Please note: "Directory Information" is a term used by FERPA to designate information which may be released without your consent. DWU is committed to ensuring that student information is only released for legitimate requests that will assist you in your educational experience at DWU.



Please contact us online or give us a call at 800-333-8506. We’re happy to help in any way we can.