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FERPAFamily Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

Confidentiality Statement

College of The Albemarle (COA) recognizes the importance of exercising responsibility in the maintenance and security of all student records. To protect student privacy rights and conform to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), COA has established the Student Records Policy. Notice of this policy and of students’ rights under FERPA is provided annually.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students in attendance at COA certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day COA receives a request for access.
    • A student should submit to the registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the registrar, the student will be advised of the correct college official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
    • A student who wishes to ask the college to amend a record should write the registrar, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed.
    • If the college decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the school will notify the student of the decision and of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the college discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. The college may disclose education records without a student’s prior written consent under several FERPA exceptions including:
    • A school official is a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff (security personnel); a person or company with whom the college has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using college employees (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
    • A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the college
    • A student’s application for financial aid
    • Submitting proof of dependency
    • A bona fide health or safety emergency
    • Response to a judicial order or subpoena
    • Information requested by other schools in which the student seeks to intends to enroll
    • As of January, 2012, The U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstance 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
      • To authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities, such as the State educational agency in the student’s State (SEA). Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal- or state-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
    • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, designates certain information related to a student as “Directory Information.” FERPA gives the college the right to disclose such information without having to ask a student for permission, unless the student specifically requests in writing that all such information not be made public without written consent, except by the National Student Clearinghouse to loan guarantors.
    • COA considers the following “directory information” and will release such information unless the student notifies the Registrar in writing within the first three days of each semester:
      • Name, address and phone number
      • Date and place of birth
      • Program of study
      • Participation in officially recognized activities
      • Dates of attendance
      • Degrees and awards received
      • The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
      • Graduation honors
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20202

Student Rights According to FERPA

  • Right of inspection of records
  • Right to challenge records believed to be inaccurate
  • Right to consent for disclosure of personally identifiable records (with exceptions)
  • Right to file complaints of alleged violations of the aforementioned rights

Directory Information

COA releases the following directory information: name, program of study, participation in officially recognized activities, dates of attendance and graduation honors.

COA doesn’t publish or distribute lists of applicants, currently enrolled students, or graduates for use by non-profit or for-profit off-campus organizations.

If you don’t wish to have any or all directory information made public, provide the Office of the Registrar with a signed and dated written notice (within the first three days of each semester) specifying the information you wish not to be released.

FERPA Release Form (PDF)


  • Dance, Andrea

  • Director, Registration and Records/Registrar

  • COA – Elizabeth City: AE 119

  • 252-335-0821 ext. 2252