Your Right to Privacy
The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that limits access to all information students provide to Graceland University. The following overview is meant to provide you with a basic understanding about how this information will be treated by the University.
FERPA designates certain information as directory information that can be made available to third parties without a student's consent. Directory information consists of:
- Name, address and telephone number (home and campus)
- E-mail address
- Date and place of birth
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance at GU
- Course load (part-time or full-time)
- Degrees, awards and honors received
- High school attended
- Most recent educational institution attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of athletic team members
- Church denomination or religious affiliation
Graceland University treats a student's Social Security Number, class schedule information, student records and all financial records as private information that falls under the confidential information guidelines below.
Under the Act, access to confidential information is restricted to:
- The student
- Parents of a dependent student (as defined by the IRS)
- University officials who have a legitimate educational interest (e.g., the student's faculty advisor and professors for academic information; Financial Aid Services, Student Accounts and Admissions Counselor for financial aid information)
- Officials of another school at which the student intends to enroll
- Certain authorized government representatives
- Organizations conducting studies on behalf of the University
- A court of competent legal jurisdiction
- Parties in a health or safety emergency
- Others with the student's written consent
Students have the option of marking their directory information records "Confidential" to restrict all access. The decision to request complete confidentiality should not be made lightly, however, as it carries the following ramifications:
- The University will respond to inquiries about the student as though the student is not known by the University
- The student may not obtain any information about her/his own records over the telephone, but must appear in person with proper identification to make any inquiry
- The student will not appear in any student publication listing
- Student loan agencies will have a difficult time accessing information necessary to carry out their functions.
Granting Access to Confidential Information
Information regarding your student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and financial aid will not be released to anyone other than the student and parents who claim the student as a dependent on the Federal Income Tax Return, unless the student grants permission. If he or she wants information released to another individual, such as a parent of whom the student is not a dependent or an outside scholarship agency, the student must complete a release form and submit it to Financial Aid Services.
You may obtain a copy of Graceland Policy and Procedure for compliance with the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) by contacting the Dean of Students at 641-784-5104.