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A student should submit a request to review his or her education records in writing to the registrar, dean, chairperson of an academic department, or other official who maintains the records he or she wishes to inspect. The request should identify, to the extent possible, the specific records the student desires to review by type, topic, date or other criteria.
The university official who has custody of the records will assemble the requested records and review them to determine whether they are eligible for access.
- If an education record includes information about more than one student, the student may review only his or her own information in that record. In this situation, the record custodian must redact the record before allowing the student to review it.
- Any questions about whether a record is eligible for review or how to properly redact an education record should be addressed with the Office of the Registrar.
- Before denying a student access to an education record, record custodians must consult with the Registrar, and should document in writing the reason for the denial.
The record custodian must respond to a request for access to education records within a reasonable period of time, but in no case more than forty-five (45) days after the request has been submitted to the appropriate custodian. If the records are not maintained by the record custodian to whom the request was submitted, the custodian should assist the student in identifying the custodian to whom the request should be addressed. For information about where certain student education records may be located, go to: Guidelines for Location of Student Records.
The record custodian will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
If not personally known to the record custodian, the record custodian must verify the student’s identity by inspection of photo identification or other appropriate documentation.
At the post-secondary level, the right to inspect a student's education records is limited solely to the student. Records may be released to a parent or other third party only under the following circumstances:
- Through the written consent of the student (Student Permission Form: Release of Non-Directory Information)
- In compliance with a subpoena
- By submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form (IRS Code of 1954, Section 152)
- Under the alcohol and controlled substance exception or in connection with a health and safety emergency under the circumstances set forth in § 99.36 (if the student is under 21 years of age)
If a student believes information contained in his or her record(s) is inaccurate, misleading or violates privacy rights, a student may ask the university to amend the record(s). If the problem stems from a clerical or other error in processing, the student should contact the record custodian and follow the established process to effect the necessary corrections. Similarly, a student should pursue the grievance and/or appeal process if he or she has a concern about the appropriateness of a grade awarded or other academic determination. This procedure does not apply to students who desire to challenge a grade. Students who wish to challenge a grade should follow the academic grievance policy in their school or college. If the desired correction of processing errors is not accomplished through normal channels, or the requested amendment is not to correct processing errors or address substantive academic decisions, the student should follow the following procedure:
The record custodian will review the amendment request and any related documentation submitted by the student. The record custodian may request additional information from the student if deemed necessary to make a determination.
Within a reasonable time after receipt of the written request, the record custodian will decide whether to amend the record as requested.
If the record custodian grants the student's request, the custodian shall amend the education record and inform the student in writing of the action taken.
If the record custodian denies the student's request, the custodian shall inform the student in writing of the decision and of his or her right to a hearing on the matter. Additional information about the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
Within ninety (90) days of the date of the denial of his or her request by the record custodian, a student may request a hearing.
The Registrar may serve as the hearing officer, or may appoint another individual to serve as hearing officer. The appointed hearing officer shall not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. The hearing officer shall not review any matter regarding the appropriateness of official grades or other such academic determinations.
The hearing shall be conducted according to the following procedures:
The hearing officer shall give notice to all concerned parties of the date, place and time of a hearing reasonably in advance. The hearing should be scheduled within a reasonable period of time following receipt of the petition.
The hearing officer shall give the student an opportunity to present evidence relevant to the contested part of the education record. The student may have a representative present at the hearing, but that person cannot participate in the hearing.
The hearing officer may receive any evidence and testimony, orally or in writing, relevant to the student’s challenge to the record content. The hearing officer shall not be bound by the rules of evidence applicable in courts of law, but may permit the introduction and receipt of evidence he or she determines is relevant.
Within a reasonable period of time, the hearing officer shall issue a written decision based solely upon the evidence presented at the hearing. A copy of the decision, which must include a summary of the pertinent evidence, shall be provided to the student, to the record custodian, and to the Registrar. The decision of the hearing officer shall be the university’s final decision.
If the Registrar acting as hearing officer or an individual appointed by the Registrar to act as hearing officer determines that the information is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights, the Registrar should require the record custodian to make necessary amendments. The record custodian shall inform the student in writing when the amendment has been made.
If the hearing officer determines that the information is not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights, he or she shall inform the student in writing of the right to place a statement in the record commenting on the contested information in the record and/or stating why he or she disagrees with the decision. The university must maintain the statement with the contested part of the record for as long as the record is maintained, and must disclose the statement whenever it discloses the portion of the record to which the statement relates.
Students who have ceased attendance or have graduated from an institution of higher education have basically the same FERPA rights as students currently attending the University of Colorado Boulder, including the right to:
- Inspect their education records
- Have a hearing to amend an education record
- Have their education privacy protected by the institution
- Have the institution honor the previously established opt-out request
Once students leave the university, they do not have the right to request that a privacy code (non-disclosure) be placed on their records.
The Office of the Registrar will offer limited services on Friday, Feb. 13, from 9 to 11 a.m.
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