Student confidentiality Policy

Confidentiality of Education Records
In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as Amended (FERPA), Sweet Briar College’s policy as outlined herein establishes certain prerequisites and limitations on the release of education records and personal identification data. The act was designed to protect the privacy of education records and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data.

Annual Notice — The College will annually notify students of their rights under the act by providing each student with a copy of this policy or a summary thereof.

Public Access — Certain information is considered public, and the College may release such information at its discretion. The College has designated the following information as directory information:

  • name
  • addresses (permanent, campus, local, email)
  • associated telephone numbers
  • date and place of birth
  • dates of attendance
  • previous institution(s) attended
  • major and minor field(s) of study
  • full or part-time enrollment status
  • class
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • academic honors and awards
  • degree sought
  • expected date of completion of degree requirements and graduation
  • degree(s) conferred (including dates)
  • photograph and video images

A student may request that designated directory information be kept confidential by filing written notification with the Registrar’s Office. Once restricted, this information cannot be released without the written consent of the student.

Disclosure to Third Parties — Except as described above, the College will not release personally identifiable information from education records to third parties without the student’s prior written consent. The College may disclose personally identifiable information from education records:

a) to College officials, including faculty, with a legitimate interest;
b) to certain federal, state, and local officials;
c) to organizations conducting certain educational studies or accrediting functions;
d) to parents who submit documentation that the student is claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes;
e) in connection with a student’s application for or receipt of financial aid;
f) pursuant to a court order or subpoena, upon a reasonable attempt to give advance notice to the student;
g) in connection with a health or safety emergency as necessary for the protection of the student or others;
h) to organizations or individuals as authorized in writing by the student; and
i) to other persons or entities as authorized by the legislation.

Student Access — Students may review their academic records by requesting this in person at the Office of the Registrar. The College will comply with a student’s request to inspect and review other education records under this policy within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 45 days from receipt of the request.

Limitations and Restrictions on Disclosure and Access — The term “education records” as defined by law and as used herein does not include:

a) records made and maintained by individual faculty or administrative personnel;
b) law enforcement records;
c) records that contain information only after an individual is no longer a student;
d) employment records; or
e) treatment records submitted directly to or maintained solely by the Student Health Center, except that a student may request treatment records to be reviewed by a physician or appropriate professional.

Student access to records that are not education records is strictly within the College’s discretion. In addition, students are not entitled to inspect and review certain education records, including confidential letters and recommendations (if a student has signed a written waiver), and parental financial records.

The College may, at its discretion, require payment of all delinquent tuition and other outstanding amounts prior to providing copies of records in connection with any disclosure or access. Students are also responsible for paying reasonable copying charges.

Records of Disclosure — Except for access or disclosure as described above, the College will maintain a record of requests for access to and disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records.

Types and Locations of Education Records — The College maintains the following types of education records at the locations indicated: the academic transcript is maintained in the Registrar’s Office and the academic file is maintained in the Dean’s Office.

Requests for Amendment of Records — A student may request the College to amend an educational record believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights. Such a request must be directed to the Dean of the Faculty. Appropriate offices will be notified if changes are made. Upon request, a student shall have the opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of education records on the grounds of information being inaccurate or misleading or in violation of the student’s rights. If the student does not prevail at the hearing, the student may add a statement to the record describing the student’s challenge. Students also have a right to file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning non-compliance with the Act or regulations.