Family Educational Rights & Privacy Annual Notice to Students (FERPA)

Columbia complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, by publishing an annual notice to students explaining their rights under the act in Columbia’s catalog and Student Handbook.

I. Upon written request, students may inspect and review their educational records by submitting their request to the Registrar. Columbia will endeavor to provide the student an opportunity to inspect and review his or her educational records within a reasonable time after receiving the request, not exceeding 45 days from the receipt of the request. Students’ educational records are maintained under the supervision of the Registrar in the Records Office, Room 611, 600 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60605.

II. It is Columbia's policy that no personally identifiable information from educational records will be released without prior written consent of the student, except for that information designed in this policy as directory information and such personally identifiable information that may be disclosed under the circumstances allowed under the Act and regulations passed pursuant to the Act. The following personnel are granted access to educational records without prior written consent of the student as a matter of routine and for legitimate educational purposes: the registrar, the General Counsel's Office, the student services directors, the deans, and the chairpersons of the academic departments, and any of their agents. Student educational records are made available to the above designated persons in furtherance of the legitimate educational purposes of record maintenance, evaluation and advising, financial aid evaluation, review for disciplinary and academic action, and billing. 

III. As required by the act and regulations, Columbia maintains a record of written requests for personally identifiable information whether or not such requests are granted. Each student has the right to inspect and review the record of written requests for disclosures of personally identifiable information which is maintained in his or her permanent record.

IV. Columbia designates the following information as directory information: the student’s name; information on whether or not a student is registered at Columbia during the term in which the information is requested; dates of attendance; information concerning the student’s graduation status, including whether or not he or she has graduated from Columbia, the date of any degree awarded, and the type of degree awarded; major field of study; awards received; and participation in officially recognized activities, sports, and organizations. Students have the right to withhold disclosure of the above information by notifying the Registrar in writing. The proper form for refusal of disclosure is available in the Records Office.

V. A student has the right to request amendment of his or her educational records to ensure that the educational record information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights. The procedure to seek amendment of a student’s educational records is as follows:

  1. A written request must be submitted to the registrar stating the reason a student seeks to amend his or her educational record and attaching any supporting documentation to the request.
  2. Within a reasonable time after receiving the request, but in no event longer than 45 days, the Registrar will issue a decision in response to the student’s request. If the decision is unfavorable, the student has the right to a hearing before a panel of Associate Deans on the request to amend. The student has the right to be represented by counsel at the hearing. The decision of the Academic Standards Review Committee is final.
  3. In the event of an unfavorable decision by the Academic Standards Review Committee, the student has the right to include a written statement setting forth his or her reasons for disagreeing with the committee on the matters presented in the request to amend the records.
  4. Each student has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Columbia to comply with the requirements of the act and the regulations passed pursuant thereto.