Ferpa

Student Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Confidentiality of Philadelphia University Student Accounts & Financial Aid Records The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (FERPA) is a U.S. Federal Law that governs access to those records as well as disclosure of information from them. FERPA is sometimes referred to as the Buckley Amendment.

STUDENT RIGHTS UNDER FERPA
  • Students have the right to inspect and review their education records.
  • Students have the right to exert some control over the disclosure of information from their education records.
  • Students have the right to seek the amendment of any of their education records that they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights.
  • Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office.
WHO IS A QUALIFYING STUDENT?

You are a qualifying student if you are currently attending Philadelphia University, or have attended Philadelphia University in the past. Applicants to the University or prospective students are not guaranteed rights under FERPA. WHAT ARE EDUCATION RECORDS? An education record is any record in any medium that is maintained by Philadelphia University or an agent acting on behalf of Philadelphia University, and which is directly related to a student and contains personally identifiable information. For financial purposes, education records include:
  • Student accounts
  • Financial Aid files
  • Tuition Management Services (TMS) accounts
  • Health & Tuition Insurance billing and waivers
  • Campus Card accounts
HOW CAN I GRANT MY PARENTS OR EMPLOYER ACCESS TO MY FINANCIAL RECORDS?
  • Philadelphia University will not release student financial information to third parties, including parents, without a signed Permission For Release of Financial Information form.
  • Billing statements are available online via QuikPAY and students may designate an authorized payer who may access online billing records. An email will be sent when new statements are posted.
  • In order for the Financial Aid and Student Accounts Offices to disclose financial information in person or over the phone to a third party, the party must be listed on the release form that has been signed by the student.
Philadelphia University is not required to provide access to the following:
  • Your parent’s or guardian’s financial information.
  • Confidential letters and recommendations for which you have signed a waiver of rights to inspect and review.
  • Education records that contain information about other students.
  • Any other record that is not legally considered an education record under FERPA guidelines.
A student may authorize any third party, including, but not limited to: parent/guardian, other family members, employer, and spouse.
  • Please fill the Permission for Release of Financial Information Form out completely and return the original in person or by mail. Only forms with an original signature will be accepted; do not fax or email forms.
  • The form requests that you provide a password and password hint. This information will be used for verification purposes. You will need to share the password with the recipient(s) you authorize on the form.
  • When contacting the Financial Aid or Student Accounts Office in person or by phone third parties will be asked to provide the student’s identification number (from the student’s campus identification card) and password. The University will not release financial information to parties who cannot provide verification.
  • Students may retract third-party access to their financial records at any time by completing the Retraction of Financial Information Release form. This form is available in the Student Accounts Office.
WHO CAN ACCESS MY EDUCATION RECORDS WITHOUT MY APPROVAL?

FERPA grants Philadelphia University the right to disclose information from your education records without your approval to the following:
  • University officials with a legitimate educational interest.*
  • Federal or state agencies or organizations performing audits or official studies.
  • Financial aid officers.
  • Accrediting agencies.
  • Officials of other institutions in which you seek to enroll.
  • Appropriate authorities in an emergency situation.
  • Parties to legal actions through subpoenas and/or court orders.
What information do I have control over? Only directory information may be released to third parties without the third party or the University requesting your permission. However, you have control over the release of directory information from your file. To prevent this information from being released to third parties, you must complete and submit a “ Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information” form to the Student Life Office within the first two weeks of a semester. This request will remain in effect unless changed by the student. WHAT IS A DIRECTORY INFORMATION ITEM? Directory information is personal information that does not harm or cause invasion of privacy if released. Philadelphia University has designated the following as directory information and may release it to reasonable third party inquiries:
  • Name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, photograph, date and place of birth.
  • Major, dates of enrollment, degrees conferred and dates of conferral of any graduation distinction.
  • Previous institutions attended.
  • Last school attended.
CAN MY PARENTS ACCESS MY OTHER EDUCATION RECORDS?

You may give your parent or guardian permission to access your records or grades by providing a signed and dated request to the University office from which you are seeking information. Your parent or guardian may request access to your record without your written permission if he or she claims you as a dependent according to the Internal Revenue Service code. In this case, your parent or guardian must:
  • Submit a request form, from the University office from which they are seeking information.
  • Provide either a copy of the last available year’s IRS Federal Tax Return, showing that the student was claimed as a dependent, or other appropriate legal documentation.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Philadelphia University Student Accounts
215.951.5988
4201 Henry Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19144

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
(202) 260-3887
www.ed.gov/office/OM/fpco/index.html