Disclosure of Student Records (FERPA)

What is FERPA?

FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. It is commonly known as the Buckley Amendment. The act, and regulations implemented by the department of education, regulates the dissemination of student educational records at all colleges and universities that receive federal funds.

What rights do students have under FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.

These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review a student’s education records within 45 days of the day that the College of Southern Maryland receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) he/she wishes to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. A student may ask the registrar to amend a record that he/she believes is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the registrar, clearly identify the part of the record he/she wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the Registrar decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the registrar will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to appeal the decision. A student wishing to appeal a decision should follow the general student complaint procedure found in the Student Policy Guide. FERPA does not address issues involved with assigning grades for academic work. A student interested in appealing grades should follow the reevaluation of academic work procedure found in the Student Policy Guide.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the college discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The college discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by CSM in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom CSM has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using college employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the college. Upon request, CSM also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College of Southern Maryland to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Written complaints should be sent to:

    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue SW
    Washington DC 20202-5920

Types of student records CSM maintains

CSM maintains the following:

  • Admissions Records
  • Advising Notes
  • Skills Assessment Scores
  • Cumulative Academic Records
  • Disciplinary Records
  • Financial Records
  • Financial Aid Records


What is Directory Information?

The following items are designated “Directory Information” and may be released at the discretion of the College of Southern Maryland unless a student files a request to prevent his/her disclosure:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • email address
  • Date and place of birth
  • Photograph
  • Major field(s) of study
  • Campus location
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees, Certificates, Letters of Recognition, and awards received (includes Deans’ List)
  • Most recent previous educational institution attended.


How do I request that information not be disclosed?

Forms to prevent disclosure of directory information can be obtained at the Registrar’s Office. Questions regarding your rights under FERPA should also be directed to the Registrar’s Office, 301-934-7588.

How do I request the release of records?

To request the release of records to parent(s) or other third party, please complete the Student Release Form.

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