Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act (FERPA) FAQ
This page provides answers to common questions students might have about FERPA. Click on the links below to view the questions and answers for other student enrollment and records-related topics.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
To ensure the confidentiality and protection of your student records:
- You must provide picture identification for in-person access to services and your records.
- You must select your private password and security question when activating your myAims Login, which ONLY YOU will use to access web-based records and services.
- For your protection, services over the telephone and e-mail may be limited if the college person you are calling or emailing does not know you or is not confident of your identity.
- Students must use their confidential myAims username and password for registration, drop/add, fee payment and grade information on the web.
- Your directory information may be released to anyone who asks, unless you take specific steps to prevent the release of your information (see the question about restricting access to your records, below).
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 or other financial sponsor would like information, they should speak with you directly.
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.
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.
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:
- Dates and terms of enrollment at the college (this does NOT mean course attendance)
- Enrollment status, full or part time
- Degrees and certificates earned
- Major fields of study
- Honors or awards received
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.
Yes. Here are some examples of what could occur after you have restricted release of your directory information:
- Any Release of Confidential Information form on file would become null and void.
- You will not be listed as a graduate in the Commencement Ceremony program.
- After you graduate, Aims could not confirm for a potential employer that you have completed your degree, without your advance written consent. Following your wish for full non-disclosure, Aims could not even confirm that you had ever been a student.
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.
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:
- The easiest and the recommended way is for you to print a copy from myAims and share it with them.
- Visit the Fort Lupton, Loveland, Windsor, or main campus in Greeley and request a copy of your unofficial transcript, which will reflect all of your grades. Provide a copy to your family or sponsor.
- You may file a Release of Confidential Information form with the Student Enrollment office authorizing them to have access to your records. Persons designated for release must pick up the information in person with a picture ID. This release does have an expiration date.
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.
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.