Confidentiality of Student Educational Records
The Registrar’s Office maintains all student records relevant to their educational process as well as any personally identifiable information. The information cannot be disclosed to individuals for any reason without the student’s written consent.
These records are maintained in accordance with both USA and Italian applicable laws and regulations.
- The USA law is known as Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act – FERPA.
- The applicable Italian law is known as Decreto Legislativo 30 giugno 2003 n.196 – Codice in Materia di Protezione dei Dati Personali. For more information regarding this Italian Law please refer to the official site.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of a student’s education records. In compliance with FERPA, The American University of Rome does not disclose personally identifiable information contained in student education records, except as authorized by law and/or those with written consent from the student.
Note: All of the rights that FERPA provides to students are extended to their parents until the student turns reaches 18 years of age. The American University of Rome has determined that once a student matriculates at the University, the parent no longer have an automatic right to access his or her education records. Instead, the access rights that a parent had when the child was in elementary and high school transfer to the student, regardless of his or her age.
With certain exceptions, education records are records relating to a student that are maintained by the University.
Personally identifiable information includes a student’s name, the name of the student’s parent or other family members, the address of the student or student’s family, or other information that would allow a student to be identified.
A parent means a parent of a student and includes a natural parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or guardian.
Directory information consists of the following items of information:
- Academic program (degree, major, minor)
- Dates of attendance, full-time / part-time status
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- Email directory lookup
- Local address* and AUR directory phone number
- School or College
- Listing in Commencement Program
- Parent Information
Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must inform students about directory information and allow students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in an email, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.
What are a student’s rights under FERPA?
In general, a student has the right to:
- Inspect his or her education records;
- Require that the University obtain his or her prior written consent before releasing personally identifiable information from education records;
- Request that corrections be made to education records if the student believes the records are inaccurate or misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA;
- Restrict the discloser of Directory Information;
- Students have the right to have their education records maintained accurately and may request amendment of records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.Note: The process of amending records or requesting hearings regards only information that has been recorded inaccurately or incorrectly or that violates the student’s rights under FERPA. It is not a process to appeal grades, disciplinary decisions, or other University decisions with which the student disagrees but which have been recorded accurately. Normal review and appeal channels must be utilized where the dispute is with the decision itself and not with the accuracy with which the decision or information has been recorded.
To make inquiry about your records please contact our Registrar’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What information does the student not have a right to inspect?
A student does not have a right under FERPA to inspect information that is not an education record, such as:
- Medical Treatment records;
- Law enforcement records;
- Employment records (provided that employment is unrelated to student status);
- Records containing information about the individual that were created or received after he or she is no longer a student and that are not directly related to the student’s attendance at the University;
- Records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel and educational personnel that are kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record; and
- Peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by an instructor.Note: A student may have rights to inspect such records under other laws.
In addition, a student does not have the right to access certain education records, such as:
- Confidential letters of recommendation, if the student has waived his or her right of access in writing;
- Financial records of the student’s parents;
- Admissions records for a student who does not officially attend the program of admission. If the student completed a course at the University but never officially attended as a degree candidate in the program of admission, then the student has FERPA rights with respect to that course but does not have rights with respect to the admissions records for that program;
- Records of a student that contain information on other students. The student may inspect, review, or be informed of only the specific information about that student.
To find out what information the University is allowed to release without student consent please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website.
What to do if you believe FERPA has been violated?
A student has the right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office at the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. A complaint must be submitted to the Office within 180 days of the date of the alleged violation or of the date that the student knew or reasonably should have known of the alleged violation. The complaint must contain specific factual allegations giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation of the Act has occurred, and it should be forwarded to: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S. W., Washington, DC 20202-4605.