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Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act (FERPA) FAQ

This page provides answers to common questions students might have about FERPA at Aims. Click on the links in the sidebar to view the questions and answers for other Registration and Records-related topics.

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

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.
  • Services over the telephone or via e-mail may be limited if you are unable to verify your identity.
  • Students must use their Workday account for registration (adding, dropping, withdrawing from courses), viewing their bill, accessing grade information, accessing hold information, and much more.
  • Your directory information may be released to anyone who asks, unless you take specific steps to prevent the release of your information. Please note that you always have the option to restrict access to your directory information at any time. 

    If you have questions about restricting access to your directory information, please contact Records@aims.edu.

 

Is it OK to give my parents, spouse or financial sponsor access to my Workday account?

No. Your Workday account should only ever be accessed by you as it is the 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.

 

You do have the option to set up another individual to have access to view areas of your account. For more information about setting up a "Friends and Family" account, please follow these helpful steps. 

 

What does FERPA cover?

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 (SSN)?

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 that it considers public record and can release this directory information without student authorization. Directory information at Aims includes the following information about the student:

  • Name
  • 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

 

How do I prevent my directory information from being released?

You may do so through Workday by submitting a "Create Request" called "DIRECTORY PRIVACY: Request for Non-disclosure of Directory Information". Once submitted, your request will be reviewed and responded to by the Registration & Records team. 

 

I want my information restricted for personal safety reasons. Are there any negative consequences to restricting the release of my directory information?

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

  • Aims will not be able to confirm that you are a or have been a student at our institution.
  • You would not be able to communicate with our staff over the phone or via email. You would need to be in-person with a photo ID.
  • You will not be listed as a graduate in the Commencement Ceremony program, if graduating.
  • After you graduate, Aims could not confirm to potential employers (or other entities) that you have completed your degree, without your advance written consent. 

Do faculty members have a right to inspect the 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 in order to be able 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 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.