I. Purpose

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records and requires the establishment of policies to safeguard student records and data. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education; Longwood student records policies comply fully with FERPA.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students." All students at Longwood University regardless of dependency are protected by FERPA.

II. Policy

A.  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. Personal data of students will be used only for the purpose for which it is collected.

B.  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 in status. 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. Falsification of records with the intent to give untrue information is a violation of the Longwood Honor Code.

C.  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, 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. A student may inform the Office of the Registrar, in writing, that they wish to block all directory information from release.

D.  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 via email each October of their rights under FERPA.

E.  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 those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:

  1. School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  2. Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  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. To 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.

F.  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.

G.  Eligible students are permitted to inspect and review educational records of which the student is the sole subject. Longwood policy regarding the inspection and disclosure of educational records is in compliance with the federal statute. To obtain a copy of the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Section 438) or a copy of the University's policy on student records, contact the Office of the Registrar, Longwood, 201 High Street, Farmville, VA 23909.

H.  Student access to all personal records shall be permitted within 45 days of a written request, during normal office hours. Students may also obtain copies of most parts of their records for a nominal fee. All records shall be available and in a form comprehensible to the student, except for:

  1. Medical 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 as excluded by law.
  3. Third-party confidential recommendations when such access has been waived by the student. Where a waiver has been given, parents, as well as students, are excluded from viewing such confidential information.

III. General

A.  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. This can be done either in person or by mail. 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 so notified by the institution.
  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 make an appeal of the decision, the student may do so in writing to the President of Longwood University.
  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. Student records are retained by the institution for at least one year after completion of work at the institution. Permanent academic records from which transcripts are derived are maintained indefinitely. A student may request and receive information concerning the record of access to official Longwood records filed under the student's name.

B.  Inquiries concerning student records should be directed to the following departments. When applicable, schedules of fees for copies of these records are available from that office.

  1. Academic Records/Transcripts - Office of the Registrar, Brock Hall
  2. Disciplinary Records - Office of Student Conduct and Integrity, Lancaster Hall
  3. Financial Records - Office of Cashiering & Student Accounts, Lancaster Hall
  4. Financial Aid Records - Office of Financial Aid, Lancaster Hall
  5. Medical/Health Records - Student Health & Wellness Center, Health & Fitness Center
  6. Mental Health Records - Counseling and Psychological Services, Health & Fitness Center

C.  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.