Florida Institute of Technology complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The Act is as follows:
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 is attending a postsecondary institution.) These rights include:
The right to inspect and review their own education records. An eligible student has the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic unit or another appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be made.
The right to request amendment of the education record. An eligible student has the right to seek amendment of their education records the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
- A student who wishes to ask the university to amend a record should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed and specify why it should be changed.
- The university will, within a reasonable time after receiving the request, decide whether to amend the record as requested.
- If the university decides not to amend the record as requested, the university will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
The right to provide written consent before personally identifiable information is disclosed, except when FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. An eligible student has the right to provide written consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The university may, and from time to time does disclose education records without a student’s prior written consent when authorized by FERPA, including to university officials whom the university has determined to have legitimate educational interests. Florida Tech defines “university officials” and “legitimate educational interests” as follows:
- “University officials” include (a) persons employed by Florida Tech in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including but not limited to law enforcement unit personnel, attorneys, counselors, and health staff); (b) persons serving on the board of trustees; or (c) persons (including students) serving on an official university committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee.
- A university official also may include a volunteer, contractor, consultant or other party outside of Florida Tech (i) who performs an institutional service or function for which the university would otherwise use its own employees, (ii) who is under the direct control of the university with respect to the use and maintenance of education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another university official in performing his or her tasks, and (iii) who is subject to the obligation not to disclose PII from any education record without the prior written consent of the student.
- “Legitimate educational interests” include performing a task or engaging in an activity related to (i) one’s regular duties or professional responsibilities, (ii) a student’s education, (iii) the discipline of a student, (iv) a service to or benefit for a student, (v) measures to support student success, and (vi) the safety and security of the campus.
- Upon request, the university will also disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
The right to file a complaint. An eligible student has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Florida Tech to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605.
When does FERPA permit disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) without student consent?
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without the consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to university officials (as defined above), 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.
The university may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining the prior written consent of an eligible student —
- To other university officials whom the university has determined to have legitimate educational interests, as described above under paragraph 3. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the university has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that certain conditions are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
- To officials of another university 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 certain state and local officials or authorities when authorized by state statute in certain cases. (§99.31(a)(5))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the university, 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))
- When it is information the university 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 university 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 university’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 university, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the university determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
- The disclosure concerns sex offenders and other individuals required to register under section 17010 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.
Institutions may disclose a student’s directory without their consent, and without violating FERPA if the student has not restricted their personal information. Florida Tech considers the following to be directory information:
- Student name
- telephone number
- date and place of birth
- major field(s) of study
- email address
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- weight and height of athletic team members
- dates of attendance
- part-time or full-time status
- degrees and awards/ honors received
- most recent educational institution attended other than Florida Tech
The release of student directory information is generally not done at Florida Tech without the expressed, written consent of the student, except as noted in item #3 above.
Request to Restrict Directory Information
Students may prevent the release of directory information by completing a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form available online and from the Office of the Registrar. By law, however, a student cannot prevent the release of directory information to the U.S. military for recruiting purposes. Student consent is required for the release of personally identifiable information such as semester grades, academic record, current academic standing, class schedules and Social Security/student number.
The Solomon Amendment
Solomon Amendment is a federal law that allows military recruiters to access some address, biographical and academic program information on students age 17 and older who have not filed any FERPA restrictions.
The Department of Education has determined the Solomon Amendment supersedes most elements of FERPA. An institution is therefore obligated to release data included in the list of “student recruiting information,” which may or may not match our FERPA directory information list.
Definition - “Student Recruitment Information” or “Solomon Information”
- Date and place of birth
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Level of education, or class standing
- Academic major
The Solomon Amendment established guidelines for the release of directory information to the United States military for recruiting purposes. This Congressional act allows release of the following directory information without student consent to military recruiters for present and previously enrolled students at least 17 years of age: student name, address, date and place of birth, telephone number, level of education, major field(s) of study, degrees received and the educational institution in which the student was most recently enrolled.
Student Right to Know
Florida Institute of Technology is in compliance with the Student Right to Know Act of 1990, the Campus Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990, as amended (Clery Act).
The Office of Security keeps statistics on compliance with the act. These statistics are updated annually and can be found at https://www.fit.edu/security/-crime-awareness-and-clery-act/. They are also available upon request to other interested parties.
Information on Florida Tech’s six-year graduation rate can be found at https://www.fit.edu/institutional-research/institutional-research/core-values–student-success/full-time-ftic-retention-and-graduation-rates/.