Access to Records

Notification of Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), commonly referred to as the Buckley Amendment, was enacted in 1974 and applies to those institutions that regularly receive funding from the US Department of Education. FERPA was written specifically for students and guarantees these primary rights:

The right to inspect and review education records within 45 days of the day the university receives the request for review. Students should submit a written request to the Office of the Registrar identifying those records the student wishes to inspect. The education record will be reviewed under the supervision of an agent of the Office of the Registrar. Students may not add or remove any information during the review.

The right to seek to amend education records believed to be inaccurate or misleading. After inspecting his/her education record a student can notify the registrar, in writing, of any portion they believe should be changed. The student should specify why the information is inaccurate or misleading. If the university determines that the record should not be amended they will inform the student and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing.

The right to some control over the disclosure of information from education records. The university discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with a legitimate educational interest. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic/research, or support staff position, including the law enforcement unit and health staff. A school official can also include a person or company the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); persons or organizations providing student financial aid; or determining financial aid eligibility, amount, or conditions of financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of aid; and accrediting organizations carrying out their accrediting functions. Education records will also be released without the student’s prior written consent in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena or in the event of an emergency if it is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if they need to review an education record in order to fulfill their professional responsibility.

Institutions may disclose directory information about a student without violating FERPA. Directory information at GCU is defined as name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address, enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate; full-time or part-time), major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, most recent previous school attended, photograph, and weight and height of members of athletic teams.

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education should the student allege the university is not in compliance with the requirements of FERPA.

Family Policy Compliance Officer
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901

Students who do not wish to release any or all of the above information to outside agencies must submit a request in writing to the registrar. This request must state which items or information they wish withheld from disclosure.

A student wishing to review his/her academic record should make an appointment to do so with the registrar.