FERPA Policies

Annual Notice to Students

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.) The Office of the Registrar is responsible for administering (FERPA) at United Theological Seminary. Annually, United Theological Seminary informs students of their rights under FERPA and the regulations relating to FERPA.

FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the students’ education records within 45 days of receipt of a request for access. Students should submit a written request to the Office of the Registrar.
  1. The right to request amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students should submit a written request to the Office of the Registrar, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. The student will be notified of the decision. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school 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.
  1. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information (PII) contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

United Theological Seminary will disclose 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 in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law en­forcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance com­mittee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the school who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist 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.

In addition, FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. United Theological Seminary may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student –

  • To other school officials, including teachers, within the [School] whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) – (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
  • To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
  • To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7))
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
  • Information the school has designated as “directory information” under §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11))
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
  • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
  • To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by United Theological Seminary to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

For more information, please visit the FERPA website

Notice Designating Directory Information
This official notice regarding Directory Information refers to detailed information held by and released by the Office of the Registrar when there is valid need.  Most of the time, when you hear the word Directory on campus, it refers to the United Theological Seminary Directory which is published and distributed by the Office of the Dean annually in a small book and which also appears on the Intranet.  It contains photos, mailing address, phone number, email address and degree program for students and similar information plus office location for faculty and staff and is made available to all students, faculty and staff each fall semester.

Student information contained in an education record that generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed is identified as directory information.

Directory information contained in seminary records is released upon request at the discretion of United Theological Seminary.

United Theological Seminary hereby designates the following categories of student information as directory information to be released upon request without student consent, unless we are notified in writing otherwise from the individual student.