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Privacy of Student Records (FERPA)

Student Affairs


PDF Version: Privacy of Student Records Policy


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Policy Statement
  4. Policy History

I. Introduction

  1. Authority: C.R.S. § 23-54-102, et seq. (2019) authorizes the Trustees of Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) to establish rules and regulations to govern and operate the University and its programs. The Trustees retain authority to approve, interpret, and administer policies pertaining to University governance. The Trustees authorize the President of MSU Denver to approve, administer, and interpret policies pertaining to University operations.

  2. Purpose: Students' rights to privacy regarding their educational records are stated in this policy.

  3. Scope: This policy applies to MSU Denver students and employees.

II. Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Responsible Executive: Chief Student Affairs Officer

  2. Responsible Administrator: Registrar

  3. Responsible Office: Registrar's Office

  4. Policy Contact: Registrar's Office, 303-556-3991

III. Policy Statement

Student Rights

Metropolitan State University of Denver maintains educational records for each student who has enrolled at the University. A copy of the University’s policy on student educational records may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 USC 1232g, and the implementing regulations published at 34 CFR part 99, each eligible student has the right to:

  1. Inspect and review his/her educational records;
  2. Request the amendment of the student’s education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights;
  3. Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent (see Nondisclosure and Exceptions); and
  4. File a complaint under 34 CFR 99.64, concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA, with the Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

Procedure for Inspecting and Reviewing Educational Records

Students may inspect and review their education records upon a written request submitted to the Registrar, Student Success Building, Suite 160 (#3), or by mail to Campus Box 84, P.O. Box 173362, Denver, Colorado 80217-3362.

  1. The request shall identify as precisely as possible the record or records the student wishes to inspect.
  2. The record custodian or an appropriate staff person shall make the arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access must be given within 45 days from the receipt of the request.
  3. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records that relate to that student.

Procedure for Amending Educational Records

A student may make a written request to amend a record.

  1. In the request, the student should identify the part of the record to be changed and specify why the student believes it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's privacy or other rights.
  2. Metropolitan State University of Denver shall comply with the request or notify the student that the University will not comply with the request and advise the student of the student's right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student's rights.
  3. Upon written request, Metropolitan State University of Denver will arrange for a hearing, and notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
  4. The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who is a disinterested party, but who may be an official of the institution. The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student's education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney.
  5. Metropolitan State University of Denver will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.
  6. If Metropolitan State University of Denver decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's right of privacy or other right, it will notify the student that the student has a right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
  7. The statement will be maintained as part of the student's education records as long as the contested portion is maintained. If Metropolitan State University of Denver decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the record has been amended.

Nondisclosure and Exceptions

Pursuant to FERPA, the University will not disclose a student’s education records without the written consent of the student except to University officials with legitimate educational interests, to officials at other institutions in which the student seeks to enroll; in connection with providing financial aid to the student; to accrediting agencies in carrying out their functions; to authorized representatives in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs; in compliance with a judicial order or subpoena; to other outside providers who may be subject to a contractual obligation to maintain confidentiality of student information (e.g. Auraria Higher Education, National Student Clearinghouse, or legal and debt collection services); may release educational records to parents of dependent children in accordance with IRS code of 1986; and in connection with a health or safety emergency involving the student. However, the University may release directory information without the prior written consent of the student unless an enrolled student has notified the University’s Office of the Registrar in writing that any or all types of directory information shall not be disclosed without the consent of the student. A request for nondisclosure will remain in effect until the student is no longer enrolled or cancels the request for nondisclosure.

A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position, including Auraria law enforcement personnel; or a person elected to the Board of Trustees; or a person employed by or under contract to the University to perform a special task, such as attorney, auditor or consultant; or a student or other person serving on an official University committee or assisting a school official in performing the official’s professional duties and responsibilities. A legitimate educational interest is the need of a school official to review educational records to fulfill that official’s professional duties and responsibilities.

Other than Directory Information, which may be released to the general public, the University will not release educational records without a student’s written consent, signed, and dated by the student.

Directory Information

Metropolitan State University of Denver has designated the following categories of personally identifiable information on students as directory information under section 438(a)(5)(B) of FERPA:

  • Dates of attendance at the University
  • Date of birth
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Enrollment status
  • Last educational institution attended
  • Major and minor fields of study
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Physical and email addresses
  • Student classification
  • Student name
  • Telephone number
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams

IV. Policy History

  1. Effective: July 1, 2019

  2. Revised: 2012

  3. Review: This policy will be reviewed every three years or as deemed necessary by University leadership.

  4. Approved By: President

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