Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. In accordance with regulations issued under FERPA, the College of the Siskiyous provides an annual notification to our enrolled students of their rights to: inspect, review and, if necessary, seek to amend the student's education record; consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records; opt out from the release of information designated as directory information by the College; and file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education under FERPA. College of the Siskiyous will not disclose information from the student's education record without consent.

Students who are currently enrolled in higher education institutions or formerly enrolled regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependence.

With certain exceptions, a student has rights of access to those records which are directly related to him/her and which are maintained by an educational institution or party authorized to keep records for the institution. "Educational records" include any records in the possession of an employee which are shared with or are accessible to another individual.

Institutions may disclose information on a student without violating FERPA through what is known as "directory information." This generally includes:

  • Student's name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Participation in officially recognized sports and activities
  • Weight and height of athletes
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees and awards received and other similar information.

Each institution is required annually to identify what constitutes directory information within its policy. This notice must also provide procedures for students to restrict the institution form releasing directory information.

  • The student and any outside party who has the student's written consent
  • School officials who have"legitimate educational interests" as defined in FERPA
  • Parents of a dependent student as defined by the Internal Revenue Code
  • A judicial order or subpoena which allows the institution to release records without the student’s consent; however, a "reasonable effort" must be made to notify the student before complying with the order

When a student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, all rights afforded to a parent/guardian under FERPA transfer to the student. This means that all academic information regarding the student goes directly to the student unless the student has provided written permission to release the information to a specified party

College of the Siskiyous may, at its sole discretion, disclose education record information to parents/guardians, without the written consent of the eligible student, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes under IRS rules (as defined in §152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986). The parent(s)/guardian(s) must complete the Parent Verification of Student Dependency and Request for Educational Record Information form and provide the appropriate Federal Income Tax Return documentation.

Record/Information Release

If a student is attending a postsecondary institution – at any age - the rights under FERPA have transferred to the student. However, in a situation where a student is enrolled in both a high school and a postsecondary institution, the two schools may exchange information with each other information on that student. If the student is under 18, the parent/guardian still retains the rights under FERPA at the high school and may inspect and review any records at the high school.

  • FERPA applies regardless of where the course is taught.
  • FERPA applies even when a high school teacher is instructing the course in partnership with COS.
  • In general, for a student in higher education, releasing student records information is the student's right – not that of the school district or parents.

Record/Information Release (PDF)

For More Information

Family Policy Compliance Office US Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Contact Admissions and Records

Phone: (530) 938-5500