Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

We Change Lives

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)  grants “eligible students” (students who have enrolled in an institution of higher education regardless of age) the right to:

  • Be notified of their FERPA rights annually (students at McNeese are notified through the catalog).
  • Inspect and review their education records – however the university is not required to provide copies of any part of the education record unless the student resides too far away to come to campus to inspect.
  • Amend records they believe are inaccurate or misleading.
  • Authorize release of non-directory information as well as prevent the release of directory information if they so choose.

Directory information at McNeese includes a student’s:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study and classification
  • Enrollment status (full-time or part-time and/or undergraduate or graduate)
  • Photograph
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of athletes
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees, awards, and/or honors received
  • Most recent previous educational institution attended

School officials who have a legitimate educational interest may gain access to a student’s education record without prior consent of the student. This may include advisors accessing transcripts for advising appointments or departments accessing transcripts for degree audits, access needed for disciplinary action, or to provide a service or benefit such as healthcare, counseling, or job placement. Legitimate educational interest does not encompass curiosity.

There are penalties for a school that violates FERPA and does not willingly cooperate with the corrections given by the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) of the Department of Education. If the corrections are not made in the given timeframe, the Secretary of Education has the ability to direct that no federal funds be made available to the institution.