The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.  

If a record contains personally identifiable information on other students, delete that information before disclosing the record.

Written consent must specify: 1) records to be disclosed; 2) purpose of disclosure; and 3) party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made.

Summary Definitions

Education Records 

Education records include any and all records in any medium maintained by GGC which is directly related to a student except the following:

  • Law enforcement records
  • Employment records where employment is not connected to student status
  • Medical and mental health records used only for treatment of the student (protected by other laws)
  • Faculty and staff personal records not shared with others and in the sole possession of the maker
  • Alumni records which do not relate to or contain information about the person as a student

School Official

  • A person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position.
  • A trustee or outside contractor such as health or medical staff, an attorney or auditor acting as an agent for the college.
  • Students, alumni or others serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or who is assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. 

Additional Parties

Additional parties to whom educational records may be released without written permission:

  • To officials of another school, upon written request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. The student shall receive notification of the disclosure unless the student initiated the disclosure.
  • Parents of a dependent student, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. In case of divorced or separated parents, if either parent claims the student as a dependent for tax purposes, then both parents may have access to the education records, unless court order states otherwise. Parents are not entitled to confidential financial records of the other parent.
  • The College has discretion to disclose final results of any disciplinary proceeding, the name of the student, violation committed, and sanction imposed. No other students' names may be disclosed w/o written consent.
  • Appropriate persons, in connection with an emergency, if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others.
  • To U.S. Attorney General investigating federal legal requirements, Comptroller General, or Secretary of Education, subject to conditions 34 CFR 99.35.
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided the college makes a reasonable effort to notify the student first, unless the college receives a federal grand jury subpoena or other subpoena prohibiting notification. The Office of General Counsel must be consulted prior to release of the record.

Legitimate Educational Interest

A school official has a legitimate educational interest in the protected education records, a legal "right to know," if the official is:

  • Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or contract agreement; related to a student's education; or related to the discipline of a student.
  • Providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.
  • Maintaining the safety and security of the campus.

The record custodian will determine whether a legitimate educational interest exists, whether the school official has a legal right to know, on a case-by-case basis. When the custodian has any question regarding the request, the custodian should withhold disclosure unless the custodian obtains written consent from the student, or the concurrence of a supervisor or other appropriate official that the record may be released. Consult with the Registrar or the General Counsel.

Directory Information

  • GGC has not designated any directory information under FERPA.