Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, otherwise known as FERPA, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. At post-secondary institutions, all currently enrolled and former students (regardless of age) are protected by FERPA. Whether you are 15 or 55, under FERPA, we cannot answer questions or release information about you (grades, current classes, etc.) to your parents/families without your written permission.

When you turn 18 years old or enter a post-secondary institution at any age, FERPA awards you certain rights in regards to your educational records. FERPA prevents college officials from disclosing personally identifiable information from your educational record, without your written permission, unless you approve disclosure by submitting a signed consent form. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education, such as Federal Financial Aid. Institutions are responsible for ensuring that all of its school officials comply with FERPA. FERPA regulations govern:

  • the release of education records
  • access to educational records

Learn about which of your student information Central Piedmont staff can and can't share with third parties under FERPA regulations.

FERPA Resources

    FERPA Information for Students and Families

    • FERPA Protections

      Your personal information is safe. Central Piedmont employees only have access to the information that they need to perform their function at the college. Each employee signs a confidentiality agreement before they are given access to your records. According to FERPA, employees must have a “legitimate educational interest” in the records they are accessing. This means that the employee must need access to specific records in order to perform their job responsibilities. Your grades must be protected while in the classroom. Faculty members cannot post grades by name, social security number, or student ID in a public place or an online forum to which other students have access. Faculty must not post grades in a manner that would allow one student to determine the grades of another.

      Parents/families are encouraged to maintain an open dialogue with you on your academic progress and performance. Regardless of your age, we are unable to answer questions or release information about you (grades, current classes, etc.) to parents/families without your written permission. You can share your grades with a family member by requesting an unofficial transcript to share or by logging in to your MyCollege account or Blackboard to show your grades. Never share your username and password.

    • Releasing FERPA-Protected Information to a Third Party

      You may, at your discretion, grant the college permission to release information about your student records to a third party by submitting a completed student information release authorization form (PDF) to the Student Records Office. You must complete a separate form for each third party to whom you grant access each time you would like access to be granted. The specified information will be made available only if the authorized third party requests it. This form authorizes release only of the specified information to the indicated third‐party designee when presented to a college representative with a copy of your student identification card.

      For the third-party designee you name on this form, this release overrides all FERPA directory suppression information that you may have set up on your student record.

      Mailed or faxed records service requests should be sent to:

      Central Piedmont Student Records
      PO Box 35009
      Charlotte, NC 28235-5009
      Fax: 704.330.6007

    • Release of Your Directory Information

      Information that is considered "directory information" can be disclosed without your written consent. Directory information that can be disclosed without your written consent includes:

      • your name
      • city of residence
      • semesters attended
      • credentials earned and dates awarded
      • your major field of study or program

      You may prevent the release of your directory information by making a request in writing to the Dean for Admissions, Registration, Records, and Graduation by the third week of the term.

    • Annual Notification of Your Rights Under FERPA

      The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords you, when you turn 18 years old or enter a post-secondary institution at any age, the following rights with respect to their education records:

      • The right to inspect and review your education records. To review records, students and former students may contact Student Records, present valid photo identification, and request in writing to review the record. Central Piedmont will provide access to records within 30 days.
      • The right to request amendment of education records that you believe are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights under FERPA. You may question information in your educational records that you believe to be incorrect or inaccurate. This request must be in writing and must be submitted to the Dean for Admissions, Registration, Records, and Graduation. All requests for corrections will be acted upon within 30 work days of receipt of the request. If the dean can verify that such data are, in fact, in error, appropriate corrections will be made. You will be notified in writing when the correction has been completed. If an error cannot be readily substantiated, the request will be referred to an Ad Hoc Hearing Committee appointed by the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services. After you have had the opportunity to present the case to the hearing committee, the committee will render a decision in writing, stating the reasons for its decision.
      • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Central Piedmont Community College has declared the following information to be “directory”: your name; your city of residence; semesters of attendance; major field of study or program; credentials earned and dates awarded. “Directory” information may be disclosed without your written consent. All other disclosures, except when permitted by FERPA, require your written consent.
        • One exception which permits disclosure without your consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or by a contract agreement, performing a task related to your education, or performing a task related to your discipline.
      • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Central Piedmont Community College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

      The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

      Family Policy Compliance Office
      U.S. Department of Education
      400 Maryland Avenue, SW
      Washington, D.C. 20202-5920
      Phone: 1.800.USA.LEARN or 1.800.872.5327

    • Parent/Family FAQs

      If you have students in your class who are minors – including dual enrollment high school students – you still cannot share information about the students' progress (whether they are attending or passing) with their parents. At post-secondary institutions, any current or former student, regardless of age, is protected by FERPA regulations.

      You cannot share this information even if the parent verifies that the student is his tax dependent? FERPA says that colleges may provide student information to parents who claim a student for tax purposes - but not that we are required to do so. At Central Piedmont this is neither our policy nor our practice

    FERPA Information for Staff/Faculty/Administration

    • Learn More about FERPA

      Protect a student’s information like your own. When in doubt, don't give it out. To learn, complete an online FERPA Awareness Training located inside the employee LearnerWeb Library under "Online."

    • Grades

      Students' grades must be protected while in the classroom. You cannot display grades by name, social security number, or student ID in a public place or an online forum to which other students have access. You must not display grades in a manner that would allow one student to determine the grades of another.

    • Peer-Grading

      Peer-grading does not violate FERPA, because, at the time of the peer-grading, the grades are not part of the student’s educational record maintained by the teacher or institution.

    • Paperwork

      Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, you do not have to reveal any individual records you may keep for your use only. Those records are considered personal and are not made available to the school or any other third party. Such records may be shared with a substitute teacher, if, for instance, they affect the way the substitute must deal with the student. Keep all papers that include personally identifiable information in a locked file when not in use. You must not leave graded tests or papers out in an area for students to pick up after class, where students can see each other’s grades. When disposing of protected records, hard copies must be shredded or placed in secure shred bins and not placed in blue recycling bins. Recycled papers are not necessarily shredded and papers often sit where others could see the information.

    • Technical Devices

      When you leave your desk or walk away from your technical device – whether in a classroom, cubicle, or an office –you should lock your workstation. This will prevent someone from sitting down at your workstation and accessing student information that may be stored or accessed there. Administrators of social media sites must maintain the site so that the site does not violate Central Piedmont policy, FERPA, and/or state or federal laws. Mobile device synchronization is available for employees through ITS with the completion of the mobile device exchange server synchronization agreement form.

    • Letters of Reference

      Only release information in a letter of reference that would be considered directory information, unless you have written consent of the student on file in the records office.