FERPA Annual Notice
Wofford College complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (commonly referred to as the “Buckley Amendment or “FERPA”). The Act is designed to protect the confidentiality of records that educational institutions maintain on their students and to give students the right to access those records to assure the accuracy of their content. A student is a person who attends or who has attended the college. The Act affords you, as the student, the following rights:
- The right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days of the day the college receives a written request for access.
- The right to request an amendment of your education records if you believe they are inaccurate or misleading.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information in your education records, except to the extent that the Act or any superseding law authorizes disclosure without your consent.
- The right to contact the U.S. Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office, concerning the college’s compliance with the requirements of the Act.
Generally, FERPA requires that written consent of the student be obtained before personally identifiable information about the student is released. Institutions may release, without written consent, those items specified as public or directory information. Directory information at Wofford College is currently defined as:
Student’s full name
Local and permanent address
Local and permanent telephone number
Dates of attendance
Major and minor fields of study
Class standing (e.g. junior)
Previous educational institutions attended
Participation in officially recognized sports and activities
Height and weight of student athletes
Awards and honors (e.g. Dean’s List)
Photographic or videotaped images of the student
Wofford can disclose directory information about you to a third party with a legitimate request if we determine that it is in your best interest, unless you specifically inform the Registrar’s Office in writing not to release this information.
As of Jan. 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records — including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when you object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
A more detailed description of FERPA is available from the Office of the Registrar.