Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Prescott College Policy on Disclosure of Student Records

Prescott College complies fully with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (as amended). This federal law was designated to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings, and to submit an explanatory statement for inclusion in the education record if the outcome of the hearing is unsatisfactory.

Protection and Disclosure of Student Records

Prescott College accords all the rights under the Act to students who are declared independent. No one outside the College shall have access to, nor will the institution disclose any information from, a student’s records without the prior written consent of the student, except: to persons or organizations providing student financial aid; to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function; to persons in compliance with a judicial order; and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. All these exceptions are permitted under the Act.

Education records do not include records in the "sole possession of the maker" (e.g. private advising notes); law enforcement records created and maintained by a law enforcement agency for a law enforcement purpose; employment records (unless the employment is based on student status), the employment records of student employees (e.g. work-study wages, graduate teaching associates) are part of their educational records; medical/psychological treatment records (e.g. from a health or counseling center); alumni records (i.e. those created after the student graduated or left the institution).

Within the Prescott College community, only those members, individually or collectively acting in the students' educational interest, are allowed access to student educational records. These include personnel in the Financial Aid, Business, Admissions, and Registrar’s offices, as well as deans, president, advisors, and faculty, within the limitations of their need to know.

Directory Information: At its discretion, the College may provide Directory Information in accordance with the provisions of the Act to include:

  • student name
  • home and local addresses
  • email and web site addresses
  • all phone numbers
  • date and place of birth
  • photographs 
  • fields of study, including competence, breadth, and primary degree/program area
  • dates of attendance and full-time/part-time status
  • all degrees earned and awards received
  • anticipated graduation/completion date
  • advisor(s) name(s)
  • recently attended previous educational institution(s)
  • participation in officially recognized activities

Every student must be given the opportunity to have directory information suppressed from public release. This process is referred to as "directory block." When a student makes this request, everyone within the institution must abide by a student's request that no information be released about the student.

It is important to understand that a "directory block" does not mean that a school official within the institution who has a demonstrated legitimate educational interest (e.g. a faculty member teaching the student in class) is precluded from using the information to perform that official's duties.

Right to View and/or Amend Records

Prescott College students have the right to see everything in their educational record, except:

  • information about other students
  • financial records of parents, and
  • confidential letters of recommendation if they waived their right of access

Right to File a Complaint

A student alleging College noncompliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may file a written complaint with the Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-5920; Phone: 1-800-872-5327;


Prescott College informs students about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act in each term’s enrollment materials.