Privacy Law (FERPA)

Access to records . . .

The law provides students with the right to inspect and review information contained in their education records, to challenge the contents of these records, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if they feel the decisions of the hearing panels to be unacceptable. The Office of the Registrar has been designated to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student education records, which include admissions, personal, academic, and financial files, cooperative education, and placement records.

Students may have copies of their records with certain exceptions, (e.g., a transcript of an original or source document which exists elsewhere). These copies are made at the students’ expense at the prevailing rate of ten cents per page. Education records do not include the records of instructional, administrative, and education personnel, which are in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any individual except a temporary substitute; records of the law enforcement unit; student health records; employment records, or alumni records. Health records, however, may be reviewed by physicians of the students’ choosing.

Students may not inspect and review the following, as outlined in the Act: financial information submitted by their parents, confidential letters and recommendations associated with admission, employment, or job placement, or honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review; or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student. The institution is not required to permit students to inspect and review confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975, provided those letters were collected under established policies of confidentiality and were used only for the purposes for which they were collected.

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Office of the Registrar
1903 W Michigan Ave
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5256 USA
269 387-4300 | 269 387-3545