Federal Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)

Notification of Rights

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 the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) the student 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. If the records are not maintained by the registrar, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
    A student who wishes to ask the college to amend a record should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
    If the College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  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 the College 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 the College 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.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

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

Notification of Directory Information

Gateway Technical College complies with the provisions of FERPA. Prior written consent from a student must be obtained before information may be disclosed by Gateway Technical College to third parties, unless the information or the individual or group making the request is exempted by the policy and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Such exemptions are made for the following:

  • Request from Gateway Technical College faculty and staff with a legitimate need to know.
  • Request in accordance with a lawful subpoena or court order.
  • Request from representatives of agencies or organizations from which the student is receiving or has received financial aid.
  • Request from officials of other postsecondary educational institutions to which the student has applied for admission.
  • Request from other persons or agencies specifically exempted from the prior consent requirement by the Act. This includes certain federal and state officials of the District accrediting agencies, etc.
  • Requests for directory information, which includes the following categories:
    • Name
    • Hometown
    • Date of birth
    • Program of enrollment (major field of study) and number of credits for which currently or formerly enrolled
    • Participation in officially recognized activities
    • Dates of attendance (including enrollment status, classification, and year, matriculation, and withdrawal dates)
    • Candidacy for graduation
    • Degrees and awards/honors received (type of degree and date granted)
    • Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended

The student may elect to have directory information held confidential. When this option is exercised, the only information that will be released by Gateway, other than exemptions 1 through 5, is confirmation that a student is or has been enrolled at Gateway. If you elect to allow the release of directory information, such release will be limited to those requests perceived to be in the best interest of the student; e.g., requests from parents, friends, relatives, prospective employers, or licensing agencies seeking to confirm certain information, societies, news releases, programs, etc. All other inquiries will be limited to confirmation that a student is or was previously enrolled at Gateway.

Gateway Technical College assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy of judgment as to whether or not a release of directory information is in the best interest of a student. Likewise, Gateway will assume no responsibility for contacting students who have elected to stipulate directory information as confidential for the subsequent permission to release any information. If you elect to have directory information held confidential, please complete a form which is available at any Student Services Center.

Enrollment Policy

Students will be considered enrolled in a class upon registration and provided they remain registered, if they have:

  • paid the required tuition and fees
  • entered into a standardized payment plan agreement with the District or  
  • have been awarded financial aid or have a third-party payer authorization/contract on file with Gateway guaranteeing payment of the tuition and fees.

Any student who has an outstanding debt with the College will not be allowed to register for any additional classes until the debt has been satisfied and/or discharged. Students, who believe they should not be held responsible for charges to their account due to extenuating circumstances, must follow Student Account Appeals Procedures. This policy will be effective in reference to debts incurred after January 1, 1992.

Education Records

Student education records are maintained in the Registrar’s Office. All requests to review education records must be made in writing. Review may be immediate, but the Registrar’s Office may take up to 45 days to honor requests if files are not accessible. If photocopies of records are requested, fees for copies are the same rate charged by the college.

Records placed on hold for individual’s with outstanding debt to the college are not released until the debt is cleared.

No personally identifiable information from college records is disclosed by the college without each student’s prior written consent, except when prior written consent is not required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

Consent to Release

You may consent to release your education records to parents, legal guardians, or other individuals by completing the Consent for Release of Student Information form. Such consent should be given in an uncoercive environment. Gateway must have a Consent to Release form on file before releasing any non-directory information to someone other than the student.