Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

FERPA applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Confidentiality of Student Records

In compliance with FERPA, presently enrolled students, former students, and alumni may have access to certain educational records directly related to them, as well as an opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate. Students may waive the right of access to such records. Confidential evaluations and recommendations of students placed in educational records prior to January 1975 remain confidential.

Except for specified school officials and authorized federal officials, no one shall have access to educational records without the written consent of the student concerned.

Parents’ financial records and related financial information shall not be released to students. Education records of students are released to parents only upon written request by the student or in the case of parents of dependent students with proof of dependency.

Directory Information

Rivier University, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), may release without the student’s authorization the following directory information:

  • Student’s Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Major Field of Study
  • Class Year
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Enrollment status
  • Degrees and Awards received (if any)
  • Place of Employment
  • Most Recent Previous Educational Agency or Institution Attended
  • E-mail address

At registration time, students are given the opportunity to restrict the release of any or all directory information.

  • FERPA Consent Forms must be hand-delivered or send from a student email account.
    • Students may restrict access by completing the FERPA Student Consent Form. A hard copy is also available in the Office.
    • Lowell General Hospital employees, please use this form.

What Are Not Education Records?

  • Sole possession records or private notes held by school officials that are not accessible or released to other personnel,
  • Law enforcement or campus security records that are solely for law enforcement purposes and maintained solely by the law enforcement unit,
  • Records relating solely to an individual’s employment by the institution that are not available for any other purpose,
  • Records relating to treatment provided by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment,
  • Records of an institution that contain only information about an individual obtained after that person is no longer a student, i.e., alumni records,
  • Grades on peer-graded papers that have not been collected and recorded.

“Health and Safety” Exception

Institutions may take into consideration circumstances pertaining to the health and safety of a student or other individuals to disclose information from education records without a student’s consent. If the institution determines there is “articulable and significant threat” to the health and safety of the student or others, information from education records can be released “to any person whose knowledge of the situation is necessary to protect” the health and safety of the student or other individuals.

For more information regarding FERPA, please see the Rivier University Academic Catalog or to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures to comply with the requirements of FERPA, the name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
US Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605


Office of the Registrar