Confidentiality of Student Records
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is a federal law which grants students the right to inspect educational records maintained about them, as well as the right to a hearing if they want to challenge the contents of these records or make explanations for the challenged information. The law also provides for the confidentiality of student records, except with respect to special cases noted in the legislation.
The Registrar at New Jersey Institute of Technology is responsible for student records. Educational records include transcripts, admission files, and placement records. Students wishing to review their files must make a written request to the Registrar listing the items of interest. Student health records are maintained by the Director of Health Services and may be examined by a professional of the student's choice. Files covered by the Privacy Act will be made available within 45 days of the request. Students may have copies made of their records at their own expense at prevailing rates. Exceptions to the right of inspection include financial aid records and records of institutional, supervisory, and administrative personnel as well as educational personnel ancillary thereto. These records are the sole possession of the makers or their substitutes.
Access To Student Records
Access To Student Records by NJIT Personnel
Within the university community, only those members acting in the student's interest, individually or collectively, are allowed to have access to student files. These include personnel in the Registrar's, Admissions, Student Services and Finance Offices, and academic personnel within the limitations of their need to know.
Access to Student Records by Non-NJ IT Personnel
With the exceptions stated in the Act, no one outside the university shall have access to a particular student's educational records without the written consent of the student, except in extraordinary circumstances such as emergencies, where the student's files may be opened to the accrediting agencies carrying out their accrediting function and to certain state and federal officials. A record of access and the reasons for granting it will be kept by the university and will be accessible to the student.
Access to Student Records by Parents
Parents cannot be given access to the educational records of their majority age children without written consent of the student.
The university at its discretion may provide directory information in accordance with the provisions of the Act, including the student's name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended. Students wanting directory information withheld should notify the Registrar in writing within two weeks of each year's first academic enrollment.
Requests for non-disclosure will be honored by the university for ONLY ONE academic year; therefore, authorization to withhold directory information must be filed annually in the Office of the Registrar. In case the student disagrees with an entry, he or she should attempt to resolve the question with the Office of the Registrar. Failing this, either the university or the student may request a formal hearing. The hearing, in accordance with the Act's requirements, will be held within thirty days after the request and will be conducted by a university official or other person without a direct interest in the outcome. The student will be given a full and fair opportunity to present relevant evidence, and a written decision will be rendered within 15 working days after the hearing.
Students who believe that the adjudications of their challenges were unfair, or not in keeping with the provisions of the Act, may request, in writing, assistance from the President of the university. Further, students who believe that their rights have been abridged may file complaints with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA), United States Department of Education, Washington, DC 20201, concerning the alleged failures of New Jersey to comply with the act.