Academic Policies and Student Records

The complete, comprehensive description of all academic policies may be found in the University Catalogue. The following student record policy applies to all students enrolled at Philadelphia University.


In the interest of advancing the scholarly activity of the University, promoting academic integrity and supporting both individual and institutional interests, the University has established certain intellectual property policies that cover the recognition, disclosure, publication and ownership of discoveries made in connection with the academic/research activities of the University.  Students, staff and faculty are both protected and bound by these policies. 

With respect to research that is sponsored by a governmental authority or other third party, the rights of students in any intellectual property that they may discover or create is governed by the terms of the specific agreement between the University and such third party. 

Students must comply with all laws and the University policies applicable to intellectual property.  Intellectual property includes copyrights, patents and trademarks which are further described in the University’s intellectual property policies. 


Philadelphia University reserves the right to record the voice and likeness of members of the University community, including its students and faculty, in situations appropriate to the image of an academic institution and to publish such materials in University publications, video, recruitment or other promotional materials and/or to transfer those materials to third parties for appropriate use.  The right to photograph and film may also be granted to third parties with which the University has an agreement.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law governing privacy rights in university records for students and for dependent students' parents.  FERPA was passed by Congress in 1974 to provide students the ability to access and review their records and to protect the confidentiality of their records within certain guidelines.  Access to the information in a student's records (including access to grades) is generally not permitted to outsiders (third parties) without the student's written consent.

I. To Whom Does FERPA Apply?

For the purposes of this policy, Philadelphia University defines student as any person who attends or has attended Philadelphia University.

II. To Which Records Does FERPA Apply?

Philadelphia University defines education record as any record in any medium maintained by

Philadelphia University that is directly related to a student, EXCEPT:

  1. A personal record kept by a staff member, if it is kept in the personal possession of the individual who made the record, and information contained in the record has never been revealed or made available to any other person except the maker's temporary substitute;
  2. An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual's employment;
  3. Records maintained by the office of Student Health Services if the records are used only for the treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing treatment;
  4. Alumni records that contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at Philadelphia University and the records do not relate to the person as a student;
  5. "Directory information."    Philadelphia University designates the following items as Directory Information: student name, addresses, telephone numbers, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, most recent previous school attended, and photograph.  Philadelphia University may disclose any of those items without prior written consent, unless notified in writing on the form available from the registrar no later than the fifth day of the fall or spring semesters or summer sessions. Such notice shall be effective only until the end of the academic year during which it is given.  An on-line student directory listing each student's name, permanent address/phone number and local address/phone number is created each fall by the Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of Information Technology.  The directory is password protected and only available to individuals affiliated with the university.
  6. Law Enforcement Unit Records – The Department of Safety and Security is the designated unit responsible for enforcement or referral to appropriate authorities, all laws and policies regarding physical security and safety of the school. Law enforcement unit records are not education records and therefore not subject to the privacy protections of FERPA.


III. How Are Students Informed About FERPA?

Students will be notified of their FERPA rights through the annual distribution of the University Catalog and the Student Handbook.


IV. How May Students Inspect Their Records?

Students may inspect and review their education records upon written request to the Office of University Registrar.  The request must identify as precisely as possible the record or records he or she wishes to inspect.

The record custodian or an appropriate Philadelphia University staff person will make the needed arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where the records can be inspected, if the inspection cannot be done at the time of request.  Access will be given in 45 days or less from the receipt of request.

When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records which relate to him or her.

V. When May the University Refuse Student Access to Records?

Philadelphia University reserves the right to refuse to permit a student to inspect the following records:

  1. The financial statement of the student's parent(s);
  2. Letters and statements of recommendation for which the student has waived his or her rights of access, or which were placed in the files before January 1, 1975;
  3. Records connected with an application to attend Philadelphia University or a component unit of Philadelphia University if that application was denied;
  4. Those records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.


VI. When May the University Refuse to Provide Copies of Records?

Philadelphia University reserves the right to deny transcripts or copies of records not required to be made available by FERPA in any of the following situations:

  1. The student is currently attending Philadelphia University or, if a former student, lives within a commuting distance of Philadelphia University;
  2. The student has an unpaid financial obligation to Philadelphia University;
  3. There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.
However, even in the above situations, students will not be denied the right to inspect their records.  Philadelphia University will not normally issue copies of any document if an original or source document exists elsewhere (e.g., records from other schools).


VII. Where Are Students' Education Records Kept?

The following is a list of the types of records that Philadelphia University maintains, their locations, and their custodians.

Admissions Records

Location: Office of the University Registrar, Archer Hall, First Floor

Custodian of Records: University Registrar

Cumulative Academic Records

Location: Office of the University Registrar, Archer Hall, First Floor

Custodian of Records: Registrar

Athletic Records

Location: Athletics Office, Althouse Hall Custodian of Records: Director of Athletics Student Conduct/Disciplinary Records

Location: Office of the Dean of Students, Kanbar Campus Center, 2nd Floor

Custodian of Records: Dean of Students

Financial Records

Location: Business Office Archer Hall, Second Floor

Custodian of Records: Controller

Financial Aid Records

Location: Financial Aid Office, White Corners, First Floor Custodian of Records: Director of Financial Aid International Student Affairs Records

Location International Student Services, Kanbar Campus Center, Second Floor

Custodian of Records: Director of International Student Services

Placement Records

Location: Career Services, Kanbar Campus Center

Custodian of Records: Director of Career Services

Note: Other student education records not indicated above available upon specific request.


VIII. When May Students' Education Records Be Disclosed to Others?

Philadelphia University may disclose information from a student's education records only with the written consent of the student, EXCEPT:

  1. To Philadelphia University officials who have a legitimate education interest in the records.  Philadelphia University officials include persons employed by Philadelphia University in supervisory, academic, research, or support staff positions, and persons employed by or under contract to Philadelphia University to perform a special task, such as an attorney or auditor.  A Philadelphia University official has a legitimate education interest if he or she is performing a task which is part of their responsibilities or contract agreement, or performing a task which is related to the student's education, or performing a task related to the discipline of a student, or providing a service or benefit to the student, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.;
  2. To officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or has enrolled, although such information is usually transmitted only in response to a specific written request from the student;
  3. To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local education authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs;
  4. In connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid;
  5. To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of Philadelphia University;To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions;
  6. To comply with a court order or a lawfully issued subpoena when specifically requests (student may not be notified);
  7. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency;
  8. To parents/legal guardians of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependant for income tax purposes.  The University informs parents/guardians where it deems appropriate;
  9. In cases of violent crime, the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the University against an accused student to the alleged victim.


A log shall be maintained in each student record to document the use of that record by individuals other than University officials.  The log shall indicate the date of the request, the individual or the organization using the record, and the purpose for which it was used.  The student (or parent/guardian of a dependent student) may inspect and review this log.


IX. How May a Student Make Changes to Education Records?

Students have the right to request to have records corrected or amended that they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights. Following are the procedures for the correction of records:

  1. The student must ask the appropriate official of Philadelphia University to amend a record. In doing so, the student should identify the part of the record they believe should be changed and specify why they believe it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her privacy or other rights;
  2. Philadelphia University may comply with the request or it may decide not to comply.  If it decides not to comply, Philadelphia University will notify the student of the decision and advise him or her of the right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or a violation of the student's rights;
  3. Upon request, Philadelphia University will arrange for a hearing and notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place and time of the hearing;
  4. The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who is a disinterested party (although he or she may be an official of the institution).  The student will be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student's education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney;
  5. Philadelphia University will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing.  The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision;
  6. If Philadelphia University decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights of privacy, it will notify the student that he or she has the right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision;
  1. The statement will be maintained as a part of the student's education records as long as the contested portion is maintained.  If the student requests disclosure of the record which contains the contested portion, he or she may indicate that the files also contain the student's statement, which will then accompany any disclosure of the record;
  2. If Philadelphia University decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student that the record has been amended.


The provisions of this section may not be used to challenge course grades.


X. To Whom May a Student Complain if Issues Arise?

Students who believe that Philadelphia University is not complying with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or the regulations issued by the Department of Education implementing that act, may file complaints in writing with:

The FERPA Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20202


The full text of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as amended, and the full text of the final regulations of the U.S. Department of Education for the implementation of the Act, is available for inspection at the Office of the University Registrar.