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Academic Policies & Procedures

FERPA Policy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.

These rights are:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar a written request that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Registrar, the student will be advised of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the 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, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Above notification taken from the model on the Family Policy Compliance Office web page 5/6/02

In general, the college will not release information from students’ records to agencies outside the college without the prior written consent or request of the student. However, the college may release the following directory information, without the prior consent of the student:

  • Name, address, telephone number, email address, film, video, and electronic images
  • 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, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the students, and other similar information.

Those students who do not desire the release of directory information should notify the Registrar in writing. This request will be honored until otherwise notified.

Student Status: Merrimack College will consider all students to be dependents of their parents unless the Office of the Registrar is notified to the contrary within 30 days after registration. This notification should include evidence that the student is in fact financially independent. A certified copy of the parents’ most recent income tax return, other public records, accounting records, etc., are acceptable for this purpose.