The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Student Education Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), gives Gardner-Webb University students certain rights, consistent with the privacy of others, with respect to official records, files, and data maintained by the University that contain personally identifiable information about them. These are referred to as the student’s “Education Records” or “Records.” These rights include:

  1. The right to grant permission to University personnel to release their Education Records or information from their Records to specified individuals or entities by completing the FERPA Release Form located on their Personal Information menu on WebbConnect. Using this form, students may specify up to three individuals to whom information may be released.
  2. The right to inspect and review the student’s Education Records within 45 days after the day the University office or official maintaining the Records receives the student’s written request for access. This may be the Registrar, Dean, Chair of an academic department, Student Accounts, Admissions, or other appropriate office or official. The student will either receive copies (the student may be charged based on the cost to the University) or notified of the time and place where the Records may be inspected. If the Records are not maintained by the office or University official to whom the request was submitted, that official/office should refer the student of the correct official or office to whom the request should be addressed.
  3. The right to request the amendment of the student’s Education Records that 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 Office of the Registrar, clearly identifying the part of their Education Records the student wants changed and specifying why the student believes the change should be made.
    This procedure is limited to challenging facts or figures that are simply inaccurately recorded by the University. This process may not be used to challenge a grade, an opinion, or a substantive or qualitative decision made by the University about the student. For example, this procedure cannot be used to change grades, academic assessments, disciplinary rulings, dismissals, admissions, or placement determinations.
    If the University decides not to amend the Record as requested, the student will be notified in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing before a designated University official under certain circumstances regarding the request for amendment. However, the University will not grant a hearing if this procedure does not apply to the original request. (See preceding two paragraphs).
  4. The right to provide written consent before the University discloses information from the student’s Education Records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  5. Students who believe their rights under FERPA have been violated may file a written complaint with the Office of the Provost, Webb Hall. Students also have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failure by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

    Student Privacy Policy Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue SW
    Washington, DC 20202

Release of Directory Information

The items listed below are designated as Directory Information and may be released at the discretion of the University under FERPA:

  • Student’s name
  • Student’s address
  • Student’s telephone listing
  • Student’s email address
  • Student’s date and place of birth
  • Student’s photograph
  • Student’s major field of study
  • Student’s participation in recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Student’s dates of attendance
  • Student’s degrees and honors received
  • Student’s most recent previous educational agency or institution attended

Students have the right to require the University to refrain from disclosing any or all of the above categories of Directory Information if they provide timely written notification to the Office of the Registrar. A request to withhold Directory Information in no way restricts internal use by the University or as otherwise allowed by FERPA.

Additional Disclosures Allowed under FERPA

FERPA also permits the disclosure of students’ Education Records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations, including the following:

  • To other University officials, including teachers, who have legitimate educational interests. A University official typically includes a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees or other official University board or committee; a person at a clinical or experiential education site; a student serving on an official committee; a volunteer, consultant, or contractor outside of the University who performs an institutional service or function; a collection agent; or a student volunteering or being paid to assist another University official in performing his or her tasks. A University official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an Education Record in order to fulfill his or her responsibilities to or on behalf of the University.
  • To officials of another school 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.
  • 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, for example, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
  • To parents of a student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
  • To appropriate persons in connection with a health or safety emergency.
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense. The disclosure may include only the final results of a disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding.
  • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, 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.
  • 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.

Questions concerning FERPA may be referred to the Office of the Registrar.

Immunization Information

State Law requires that students show proof of the following shots before being allowed to enter the University. Follow the link for more information:

Important – the immunization requirements must be met; or according to NC law, you will be suspended from Gardner-Webb University on the 30th day of class. This will inactivate your ID card and prevent you from accessing your dorm room, purchasing food in the Cafeteria, or making any other transactions with your Gardner-Webb ID card.

For more information, email [email protected] or call (704) 406-3591

Transfer Credit

Students who plan to take courses at other institutions during a regular term or summer session must have the prior permission of the Registrar. An online Request to Recognize Transient Credit form must be completed for approval. For more information on Transfers and how to access the form, click here.