Notification of Rights Under FERPA
Bluffton University Policy on Student Records

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records and affords students certain rights with respect to those records.

FERPA deals with the question of what information is private by directing institutions to list information that is considered directory information and therefore not protected as private.

In accordance with FERPA guidelines Bluffton University has designated the following items as Directory Information:

student name, campus address, home address, campus telephone number, home telephone number, e-mail address, date and place of birth, major field(s) of study, class standing, full or part-time status, hours registered, hours completed, class schedule, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, photographs, dates of attendance, degrees, honors and awards granted, date of graduation and previous schools attended.

 All information not included in the above list should be considered private. This would include, for example: grades, GPA, class rank, probation or suspension status, and remaining requirements for a degree. You may opt to prohibit disclosure of directory information as well by signing a form available in the registrar’s office. 

As a student, you may release protected information to whomever you wish. This requires a signed statement including what information is to be released and to whom. Thus, a signed transcript request authorizes us to release a transcript to the address(es) submitted by the student.

FERPA guarantees students these rights:

  • Right to Inspect:
    You have the right to inspect and review all of your education records maintained by or at this institution.
  • Right to Request Amendment:
    You have the right to seek to have corrected any parts of an educational record you believe to be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of your rights. This right includes the right to a hearing to present evidence that the record should be changed if this institution decides not to alter the education record according to your request.
  • Right to Prevent Disclosure:

    You have the right to prevent disclosure of education records to third parties with certain limited exceptions. It is the intent of this institution to limit the disclosure of information contained in your education records to:

    • those instances when prior consent has been given to the disclosure
    • items of Directory Information of which you have not refused to permit disclosure (see list above)
    • or items under the provisions of FERPA which allow disclosure without prior written consent. This includes information necessary for school officials to perform their assigned tasks, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, and some other circumstances as defined by FERPA.
  • Right to File a Complaint with the U.S. Department of Education: If you believe that Bluffton University has failed to comply with the requirements of FERPA or has violated your FERPA rights, you have the right to file a complaint with the Family Policy and Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Ave S.W., Washington, DC 20202-4605.
  • Right to Obtain Policy: You have the right to obtain a copy of this student records policy. You can obtain a copy of the policy from the Registrar's Office.  

Notice regarding FERPA rights is provided in the Bluffton University Catalog, is emailed to students annually, and is available from the Registrar’s Office.