FERPA - Student Records and Annual Notification 1009

Policy Owner:

Academic Affairs.  The Registrar’s Office monitors compliance through electronic access of student information. 

I. Purpose  

The purpose of this policy is to outline the university's responsibility regarding access to and privacy of student records and student information as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) and state law.

II. Policy Statement:  

Generally, FERPA provides that no information, applications, forms, letters, records, transcripts, etc. may be released, whether orally or in writing, without prior written consent of the student.   FERPA gives students the right to inspect, review and, in some cases, amend their education records.

III. Policy:

  1. The accumulation, processing, and maintenance of student data by the institution is limited to that information, including grades, which is necessary and relevant to the purposes of the university.
  2. Student data, whenever possible, shall be collected directly from the student; every effort will be made to ensure its accuracy and security. It shall be the express responsibility of the student to notify the Office of the Registrar of any changes to their information. Any student who initially or subsequently refuses to supply accurate and complete personal information, as is legally allowed, may jeopardize his/her current student status. Falsifying records may subject students to discipline under the Longwood Honor Code.
  3. Longwood University designates the following categories of student information as public or "Directory Information." Such information MAY be disclosed by the institution at its discretion. Directory information may include the student's name, photograph, major field of study, classification, participation in officially- recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and dates of field experience.
  4. A student may inform the Office of the Registrar in writing that they wish to block all directory information from release. Schools may disclose, without consent, directory information as listed above. However, Longwood will notify eligible students about directory information and allow a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Longwood will notify eligible students annually via email of their rights under FERPA.
  5. Generally, Longwood must have written permission from a student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows Longwood to disclose education records, without consent, to:
    1. School officials with a legitimate educational interest;
    2. Other schools to which a student is transferring or seeks to enroll;
    3. Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    4. Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    5. Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    6. Accrediting organizations;
    7. Comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    8. Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    9. State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system pursuant to specific State law.
  6. Under FERPA, Longwood is not required to provide prior notification to a student when responding to a federal grand jury subpoena or other law enforcement subpoena, which specifies that the student not be informed of the existence of the subpoena.
  7. Eligible students are permitted to inspect and review educational records of which the student is the sole subject.
  8. Student access to all personal records shall be permitted within 45 days of a written request. Students may also obtain copies of most parts of their records for a nominal fee. All records shall be available, except for:
    1. Treatment records which, upon written authorization, shall be submitted to a psychologist or physician designated by the student;
    2. Confidential financial statements and records of parents; or
    3. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation.
  9. During normal office hours, Longwood shall provide an opportunity for a student with proper identification to challenge information believed to be inaccurate, incomplete, inappropriate or misleading. All personal data challenged by a student shall be investigated by the vice president over the area where the data is being challenged. Completion of an investigation shall result in the following actions:
    1. If Longwood concurs with the challenge, the student's records shall be amended or purged as appropriate; all previous record recipients shall be notified of the amendment.
    2. If the investigation fails to resolve the dispute, the student shall be permitted to file a statement of not more than 200 words setting forth the student's position. Copies of the statement will be supplied, at the student's expense, to previous and subsequent recipients of the record in question.
    3. If a student wishes to appeal the decision, the student may do so in writing to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
    4. The names, dates of access, and purposes of all persons or agencies other than appropriate Longwood personnel given access to a student's personal records shall be recorded and maintained by the Office of the Registrar. The university shall retain student records in accordance with state records retention law. A student’s academic transcript is maintained indefinitely.
  10. Inquiries concerning student records should be directed to the Office of the Registrar. When applicable, schedules of fees for copies of these records are available from that office.
  11. To comply with the provisions of FERPA, Longwood University will not release education records or personally identifiable information contained therein without the student's written consent. Individuals seeking access to student records should include a copy of the student's written consent when requesting non-directory information.


Previous action on this policy: Approved by the Board of Visitors, September 11, 2004.
Reviewed and approved by Cabinet, May 8, 2013.
Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, June 14, 2013.
Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, June 8, 2018.