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Confidentiality of Student Records (FERPA)

FERPA (Family Education Rights & Privacy Act) and Student Records

The Family Education Rights & Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA, provides that all records pertaining to a student that are maintained by the college must be open for inspection by the student and may not be made available to any other person without the written authorization of the student.

The following items are considered Directory Information and may be released without the written consent of the student: name, address, telephone number, enrollment status, dates of attendance, major, and degree conferred (including dates). The Boston Architectural College may disclose these items without prior written consent, unless notified by the student in writing to the contrary. Nondisclosure stipulations remain in effect until removed in writing by the student, even if the student has withdrawn or graduated. A request form to prevent disclosure of Directory Information is available to students from the Registrar's Office.

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (the Buckley Amendment) requires all institutions of higher education to inform their students of their rights under the Act and of its basic provisions. The BAC has adopted the following policy:

Any present or former student has the right to inspect and review any and all official records, files and data directly related to that student—including all additional material that is incorporated into the student's cumulative file, subject to certain limited exceptions set forth in the Privacy Act. The student has the right to challenge the contents of his/her educational records and also may request a hearing for this purpose if a resolution is not achieved through informal channels. The BAC shall endeavor to ensure that the records are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of other students and shall provide—through informal and formal channels—opportunities for the correction of any errors. These provisions for inspection and review do not apply to applicants for admission. All admission materials received by the BAC become the property of the school and will not be returned to or photocopied for applicants.

BAC policy forbids the release of personally identifiable records, files or personal information contained therein, without first obtaining the written consent of the student, to any individual, agency or organization other than those acting within their responsibility for the student's interest and for the integrity and/or the improvement of the BAC's programs. Such individuals may include educational and administrative officials of the school; members of the Scholarships and Awards, Appeals, and Thesis committees; and Portfolio and Practice Component reviewers.

Beyond the exceptions stated in the Privacy Act, no one outside the BAC is given access to student records without the student's written consent. However, accrediting agencies carrying out their function, and certain state and federal officials named in the Act, are permitted access; disclosure is also permitted in other limited circumstances, such as to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena or court order or in connection with a health or safety emergency. (A record of disclosures will be maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act; students may inspect and review this record.) Unless otherwise permitted by the Privacy Act, the BAC may release only the student's name, enrollment status, dates of attendance, major and degree received (if any).

The Registrar of the BAC is responsible for academic records. Students who wish to review or have copies made of their educational records may do so upon written notice to the Registrar. Copies will be made at the students' expense and within 45 calendar days or less.

Students who disagree with an entry in their files should attempt to resolve the difference with the Registrar. Failing resolution, they may petition the Appeals Committee for a hearing to amend their formal records. Such hearings are normally held within 30 days of the receipt of the petition. If the BAC declined to amend the record, a student may place a statement in the record commenting on the contested information or stating his/her disagreement with the BAC, or both. Students may file a complaint regarding violations of the 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act by writing to the Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.