The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 sets forth requirements regarding the release of and access to student records.

Under FERPA, educational records are defined as records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency/institution or by a party acting for the agency/institution. FERPA protection begins on the first day of classes for the first semester of enrollment for a student. FERPA gives students the right to:

  • Inspect and review their records
  • Request to amend their records
  • Limit disclosure of public/directory information
  • And also requires students to give their permission to release private information.

Who is covered? Any individual who is taking or has taken a course at University of South Carolina Beaufort, regardless of age.  In addition to degree-seeking students; this includes, but is not limited to: joint enrollment students, transient students, students auditing a course, distance learning students, dual enrollment students, and non-degree seeking students.

Public or Directory Information

The following are considered public or directory information and may be released upon request:

  • Student name
  • Permanent mailing addresses
  • E-mail address
  • Major and minor fields of study
  • Classification (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
  • Date of admission
  • Dates of attendance
  • Current or previous enrollment status (full- or part-time)
  • Whether or not currently enrolled
  • Anticipated date/term of graduation and expected degree(s)
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received (including scholarships and fellowships)
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of athletic team members

Students may choose what directory information is displayed by completing the Privacy Request Form found on the "Forms" page of the Registrar's Office webpages and submitting it to the Registrar's Office. This form can also be used to request withholding of all directory information. 

Private Information

Under FERPA the following are examples of what is considered to be private information:

  • Grades
  • USCB ID number
  • Social Security Number
  • Telephone numbers
  • Class schedule
  • Residency
  • Class rank
  • Age
  • Birth date
  • Place of birth

Essentially any information not listed as directory is considered private information.

Private information may only be released with the student’s permission.

Students can give permission for specific private information to be released by completing the Release of Student Information Form and submitting it to the Registrar’s Office.  

Alternatively, students can provide access to Self Service Carolina so that parents can log in to see student information. 

If students are unwilling or unable to provide this permission, parents can complete a Parental Affidavit for Release of Information Form if they claimed the student as a legal dependent on their most recent Federal income tax filing. The form, along with a copy of the tax return, must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office either to or by fax 843-208-8282.