Richmont Graduate University’s Policy to Comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
This policy, as outlined below, meets the guidelines presented at AACRAO 4/97 by LeRoy S. Rooker, Director of the Family Policy and Regulations Office, U.S. Department of Education.
For the purpose of this policy, Richmont Graduate University (Richmont) uses the following definition of terms.
Any person who currently attends or who has attended Richmont Graduate University at any time in the institution’s history
Any record (in handwriting, typed, tapes, film, computer, or other medium) maintained by Richmont or an agent of the Institute which is directly related to a student with the following exceptions:
- A personal record kept by a staff member, if it is kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, and information contained in the record has never been revealed or made available to any other person except the maker’s temporary substitute.
- An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual’s employment.
- Records maintained for law enforcement purposes.
- Alumni records which contain information about a student after he or she is no longer in attendance at the Institute and the records do not relate to the person as a student.
Rights & Privileges
Students will be notified of their FERPA rights annually by publication of this information on the Richmont website. Copies will also be available from the Registrar.
Procedure to Inspect Education Records:
Students may inspect and review their education records upon request to the appropriate record custodian.
Students should submit to the record custodian or an appropriate Richmont staff person a written request which identifies as precisely as possible the record or records he or she wishes to inspect.
The record custodian or appropriate Richmont staff will make the needed arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Access must be given in 45 days or less from the receipt of the request.
When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records which relate to him or her.
Limitations of Rights of Access:
Richmont reserves the right to refuse to permit a student to inspect the following records:
- Letters and statements of recommendation for which the student has waived the right of access.
- Records connected with an application to attend Richmont or a component of Richmont if that application was denied.
- Those records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.
Refusal to Provide Copies of Records & Transcripts:
Richmont reserves the right to deny transcripts or copies of records in the following situations:
- The student has an unpaid financial obligation to the Institute.
- The student’s federal loan payments are not current.
The fee for copies of transcripts will be published annually in the catalog. Fees for copying other records will be no more than $0.25 per page.
Types, Locations, and Custodians of Education Records:
The following is a list of the types of records that Richmont maintains, their locations, and their custodians:
|Type of Record
|Admissions Records for enrolled students
|Cumulative Academic Records
Disclosure of Education Records:
Richmont will disclose information from a student’s education records only with the written consent of the student, except that records may be disclosed without consent when the disclosure is:
- To institute officials who have a legitimate education interest in the records.
- A school official is any person employed by Richmont Graduate University in an administrative or research, or support staff position, including part-time graduate assistants or volunteers who have a legitimate educational interest.
- A person employed or under contract to Richmont to perform a special task, such as an attorney or auditor.
- A school official has legitimate educational interest if the official is:
- Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description of by a contract agreement.
- Performing a task related to the student’s education.
- Performing a task related to the discipline of a student.
- Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement or financial aid.
- Maintaining the safety and security of the campus.
- To officials of another school, upon request, in which the student seeks or intends to enroll.
- To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs.
- In connection with a student’s request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
- To state & local officials or authorities if required by a state law requiring disclosure that was adopted before November 19, 1974.
- To organizations conducting certain students for or on the behalf of the Institute.
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
- To parents of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
- To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
- To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
- To individuals requesting directory information so designated by the Institute.
- The results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the Institute against an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence to the alleged victim of that crime.
Record of Requests for Disclosure:
Richmont will maintain a record of all requests for and/or disclosure of information from a student’s education records with the exception of requests for directory information as defined below. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be disclosed, and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. This record may be reviewed by the student.
Richmont designates the following items as Directory Information: Student name, address, telephone number, email address, degree sought and specializations, part-time or full-time status, degrees and award received, previous schools attended and photograph. The Institute may disclose any of these items without prior written consent, unless notified in writing to the contrary. Such notification must be received within three school days of the official date of registration in order to ensure that directory information will not be included in university publications.
Correction of Education Records:
Students have the right to ask to have records corrected that they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights.
The following are the procedures for correction of records:
- A student must ask the custodian of the Richmont record in question to amend a record. In so doing, the student should identify the part of the record to be changed and specify why he or she believes it is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of his or her privacy rights.
- Richmont may comply with the request or it may decide not to comply. It is decides not to comply, Richmont will notify the student of the decision and advise him or her of the right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights.
- Upon request, Richmont will arrange for a hearing, and notify the student, reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
- The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who is a disinterested party; however, the hearing officer may be an official of the Institute. The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student’s education records. The student may be assisted by one of more individuals, including an attorney.
- Richmont will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.
- If Richmont decides that the challenged information is not accurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will notify the student that he or she has the right to place in the file a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
- The statement will be maintained as part of the student’s education record as long as the contested portion is maintained. If Richmont discloses the contested portion of the record, it must also disclose the statement.
- If Richmont decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the record has now been amended.
Transferability of Credits
Credits earned at Richmont Graduate University (RGU) may not transfer to another educational institution. Conversely, credits earned at another educational institution may not be accepted by RGU. You should obtain confirmation that Richmont will accept any credits you have earned at another educational institution before you execute an enrollment contract or agreement. You also should contact any educational institutions to which you may want to transfer credits earned at Richmont Graduate University in order to determine if such institutions will accept credits earned at RGU prior to executing an enrollment contract or agreement with the second institution. The ability to transfer credits from RGU to another educational institutions may be very limited. There is a possibility that your credits may not transfer and you may be required to repeat courses previously taken at Richmont if you enroll in another educational institution. You should never assume that credits will transfer to or from any educational institution. It is highly recommended and you are advised to make certain that you know the transfer of credit policy of RGU and of any other educational institutions you may in the future want to transfer the credits earned at RGU before you execute an enrollment contract or agreement. For specific information on transferability of credit, please see RGU’s catalog, or contact the office of the Registrar.
Any questions regarding these policies may be addressed to the Registrar.