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

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

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

II. It is Columbia’s policy that no personally identifiable information from education records will be released without prior written consent of the student, except for that informa- tion designated 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. Columbia discloses education records without a student’s prior consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Columbia in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position; a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official may also include a volunteer or contractor outside of Columbia who performs an institutional service or function for which the College would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the College with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from education records. The following personnel, without limitation, are granted access to education 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, and Student Financial Services, Information Technology, College advisors, the President of the College, the Provost, the Vice President for Student Success, 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 associated regulations, Columbia College Chicago 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 that is maintained in his or her permanent record. 

IV. Columbia College Chicago designates the following information as directory information: the student’s name; information on whether or not a student is registered in the college 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 the college, 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 Office of the Registrar.

V. A student has the right to request amendment of his or her education records to ensure that the education record information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights. The procedure to seek amendment of a student’s education 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 education 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 the associate deans (Academic Standards Review Committee) 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.

VI. Each student has the right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Columbia to comply with the requirements of the Act and the regulations passed pursuant thereto. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington D.C. 20202.