The Provost’s Office and its various subdivisions maintain student education records as an integral part of providing student services. All student education records and the information contained therein are subject to the provisions of the federal privacy act known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and, subject to exceptions stated in FERPA, are not available for inspection by others without a written release from the student unless the person making the request is a University faculty or staff member with legitimate educational interests. Such personnel might include a faculty adviser, professor, dean or a counselor. Parents may or may not be excluded from seeing their student’s education records or receiving information from the records without a release signed by their student, depending on the applicable provisions of FERPA.
Generally, students may inspect their own education records at any time the record keeping office is open. Prior notice is required to inspect your own file as inspections are done under the supervision of the office staff. Students may copy the contents of their own education records, although if the file is extensive there may be a reasonable copying charge. The following restrictions apply to student review of education records:
In all cases where access to records is denied, the student and supervisor of the record shall attempt to informally resolve the matter. If the situation is not resolved in this manner, then the Provost, or his/her designee, shall make a final and binding decision regarding access after reviewing the arguments for access and denial of access.
If students find objectionable material in their files, they should call it to the attention of the supervisor of that record. If the supervisor agrees, the material can be deleted or amended. If the supervisor of the record does not agree to a student’s suggested deletion or amendment after the student has had a chance to present all evidence in his/her favor, then the student may add additional or explanatory material to the file, which will be kept as part of the educational record.
University files pertaining to students are normally purged after five years, although each department and College follows its own procedures.
FERPA also prevents the University from releasing certain information about students to persons outside the University without first notifying the student.
Drake University may release to the public the following “directory information” about each individual student without prior consent unless timely notified by the student or unless the student has previously requested these records be withheld:
Any student not wanting the above-referenced directory information released to the public must timely notify the appropriate office. Forms are available from the Office of the Registrar. A notice remains in effect until the student requests lifting of the hold in writing. If personally identifiable information is removed from education records, the records can be disclosed without student notification.
Personally identifiable information other than directory information can be released without prior approval under the following circumstances:
Generally, it is Drake University’s policy to request a signed consent from the student before the University will release the student’s education records (including grades) to parents. The University treats students as adults and encourages parents to become partners with their students. The University believes that this approach reinforces the importance of autonomy and accountability in student development.
There is no law forbidding students from voluntarily sharing all their information with parents after the student receives it from the University, and no consent form is required for such voluntary sharing between student and parent.
Under the following special circumstances, the University may release student education records to parents or others without student consent:
The University’s policy regarding disclosure of student information to parents is explained to parents and students at summer orientation. Students may authorize their parents’ access to their record via the "Authorize Family Access" link in the student portal.
Questions regarding FERPA, University policy or parental access to student education records can be addressed to the Office of the Registrar, 515-271-2025, or to the Associate Provost for Academic Excellence and Student Success at 515-271-3751.
More information about FERPA can be found at http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.