Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

Texas A&M University-Texarkana encourages students to exercise all of their rights under the Family Educational Rights and  Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g).  Operating under the premise that the educational process is a cooperative venture between a student and the University. 

All the rights and protections given students under FERPA belong to the student, however, information in student  records may be provided to parents/legal guardians without the written consent of the student if the eligible student  is a financial dependent of his or her parents/legal guardians as defined under Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

Statement of Rights

Texas A&M University-Texarkana encourages students to exercise all of their rights under the Family Educational Rights and  Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g).  Operating under the premise that the educational process is a cooperative venture between a student and the University, we emphasize the following rights of eligible students:

  1. The right to inspect and review, with certain limited expectations, the student’s educational records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access. This shall include the right to receive explanations and interpretations of the records and to obtain copies of the records when such are needed to allow the student to effectively exercise his/her right of inspection and review.  Students should submit to the Registrar's Office a written request that identify the records they wish to inspect. The Registrar's Office will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where he or she may inspect the records. If the Registrar's Office does not maintain the records, he or she shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the student should address the request.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate.  Students may ask the university to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate.  Students should submit to the Registrar's Office a written request that clearly identifies the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the university decides not to amend the record as the student requested, the university will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. The university will provide additional information regarding the hearing procedures when officials notify the student of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
    One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person or entity: (a) employed by the university or the university system in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support-staff position (including law-enforcement personnel and health staff); (b) serving on a university governing  body or duly authorized panel or committee; or (c) employed by or under contract to the university to perform a special  task, function, or service for the university.
    1. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the information requested is necessary for that official to  (a) perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his/her position description or in the performance of regularly assigned  duties by a lawful supervisor; (b) fulfill the terms of a contractual agreement; (c) perform a task related to a student's  education; (d) perform a task related to the discipline of a student; or (e) provide a service or benefit relating to the  student or student's family, such as health care, financial aid, job placement, or former student-related activities.  Disclosure to a school official having a legitimate educational interest does not constitute university authorization to  transmit, share, or disclose any or all information received to third parties unless such disclosure is permitted or required by law
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Texas A&M University-Texarkana to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Certification of Dependency

Under provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students enrolled in post-secondary  educational institutions are deemed to “own” their educational records.  Institutions may, but are not required to,  grant access to certain non-directory information in a student's educational record if the student is claimed as a  dependent on his or her parent's/guardian's federal income tax return.  Generally non-directory information will not be released to a parent or guardian unless a Certification of Dependency Form is completed and signed by the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student and is submitted to the Office of the Registrar.