Page Up Arrow

Admissions, Registration and Records

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) FAQ

  1. What does the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) really mean for me?
  2. Is it OK to give my parents (spouse, financial sponsor, etc) my myAims username and password?
  3. Does all of this apply only to my academic records?
  4. I have been assigned a generic number for my Aims student ID. Why are you still asking for my Social Security number?
  5. What information has Aims defined as directory information?
  6. How do I prevent my directory information from being released?
  7. I want my information restricted for personal safety reasons, but I wonder, are there any negative consequences to restricting release of my directory information?
  8. How does parental access to children's education records work?
  9. How can my parents (or spouse, financial sponsor, etc.) get a copy of my grade report?
  10. Do faculty members have a right to inspect education records of any student without giving a reason?
  11. Can faculty members post my grades by their office door or online?

What does the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) really mean for me?

To ensure the confidentiality and protection of your student records:

Is it OK to give my parents (spouse, financial sponsor, etc) my myAims username and password?

No. Your username and password not only act as your electronic signature contractually binding you to any online transactions you may choose, they also act as your key to your confidential school records. It is recommended that if your parent (spouse, financial sponsor, etc.) would like information, they should speak with you directly.

Does all of this apply only to my academic records?

No, FERPA applies to "educational records", which includes everything the college maintains about you in any media. Educational records may include information about your academic, financial, activities, or disciplinary records or activities. Medical and personal counseling records are protected under separate regulations and professional guidelines.

I have been assigned a generic number for my Aims student ID. Why are you still asking for my Social Security number?

Under the terms of the Federal Education Tax Credits legislation, Aims is required to provide tuition and fee payment information annually to the IRS. Your SSN is required for this reporting, even if you use a non-SSN student ID number and you will claim neither the Hope Scholarship tax credit nor the Lifetime Learning tax credit. Additionally, if you apply for financial assistance of any type (grants, loans, scholarships, etc.), you will be required to submit your SSN with that application.

What information has Aims defined as directory information?

FERPA allows the college to identify information which it considers public record and can release this directory information without student authorization. Directory information at Aims includes the following information about the student:

How do I prevent my directory information from being released?

A written request to flag your student records as “confidential” may be submitted to the College Registrar. Note: It is important to remember that your decision remains in effect until you request in writing to change it.

I want my information restricted for personal safety reasons, but I wonder, are there any negative consequences to restricting release of my directory information?

Yes. Here are some examples of what could occur after you have restricted release of your directory information:

How does parental access to children's education records work?

At the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent rights to inspect a student's education records. The right to inspect is limited solely to the student, regardless of age. To avoid any misunderstandings, you are strongly encouraged to discuss this new aspect of educational rights with your family before beginning classes.

How can my parents (or spouse, financial sponsor, etc.) get a copy of my grade report?

Aims does not mail grade reports, even to students. You are encouraged to discuss the following options for obtaining your grades in advance of the close of your first semester at Aims:

Do faculty members have a right to inspect education records of any student without giving a reason?

No. Faculty members are considered school officials, but they must demonstrate a legitimate educational interest in their request to access student records. For example, Aims provides transcripts to faculty members for advising purposes.

Can faculty members post my grades by their office door or online?

The public posting of grades either by the student's name, institutional student identification number, or Social Security number is a violation of FERPA, whether done via paper source or via electronic means (including the web). Instructors and others who post grades should use a system that ensures FERPA requirements are met. This can be done by using code words or randomly assigned numbers that only the instructor and individual students know.