Academic Catalog

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Educational Record

A student's educational record is made up of records directly related to a student and maintained by the institution.  These records may include, but are not limited to admissions documents, grades, attendance records, and administrative records.  Educational records are stored digitally and are kept indefinitely.


FERPA Annual Notification of Student Rights

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 was adopted to protect the privacy of a student’s educational records, establish the rights of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading information through informal and formal hearings. Aspen University defines a student, for the purpose of FERPA, as an individual who has begun their first course with Aspen University. These rights and Aspen University’s procedures regarding FERPA are detailed below.

Directory Information

Aspen University has designated the following items of a student’s record as public information. Such information may be disclosed by Aspen University at its discretion:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email
  • Mailing Address
  • Phone Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Field of Study
  • Degree Program
  • Degrees Awarded
  • Entry Date
  • Dates of Attendance (Current and Past)
  • Conferral Date
  • Previous Institutions Attended
  • Academic Honors
  • Photographs

Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of any of the above-named items by completing and submitting a Request to Withhold Directory Information Form to the Office of the Registrar. Students wishing to withhold directory information should be aware that no information can be shared without separate written consent once a request to withhold form has been submitted. This FERPA hold will prevent the the release of all your private information, including the ability of University staff and faculty to communicate with you by phone should you need to discuss information in your record. If you have a FERPA hold in place, you will only be able to speak with University faculty and staff via the email address you have on file with the university or in person after showing a government-issued photo ID.

Please note that in these cases, the University also cannot provide any information to potential employers or other parties without the student’s written consent.  Students who have a FERPA hold on their account will also not appear in the commencement program.

A withhold request applies to all directory information. A withhold request cannot be applied partially to specific directory information items.

Right to Prior Written Consent

Students have the right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) contained in their educational records. Exceptions under FERPA allow Aspen University to disclose educational records without the student’s prior written content if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.32 of the FERPA regulations. Some of these exceptions include:

  • School officials with a legitimate educational interest. School officials include any staff, faculty, or other person employed by the University or a person or company which the University has outsourced functions that otherwise would be performed by its employees.
  • Officials at an institution at which the student seeks or intends to enroll. The University will make a reasonable attempt to notify the student of these disclosures prior to forwarding educational records.
  • Authorized representatives of the following agencies: U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities. Disclosures under this provision may be made in connection with an audit or evaluation or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements.
  • Officials associated with financial aid for which the students has applied or received if the information is deemed necessary to determine eligibility, amount of aid and the conditions of aid, or to enforce terms or conditions of the aid.
  • Organizations conducting studies on behalf of the university to develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; administer student aid programs; or improve instruction.
  • Accrediting organizations to perform accrediting functions.
  • Parents of an eligible student if the student is dependent for IRS tax purposes.
  • Officials in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
  • Appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency

Requests for access to educational records that does not include directory information or is not an allowable exception require prior written student consent.

In order to authorize a third-party access to their educational records, students must complete and submit a FERPA Release Form to the Office of the Registrar. If at any time a student wishes to revoke the authorization, they may complete the FERPA Revoke Form and submit the completed form to the Office of the Registrar.

Right to Inspect, Review and Amend Educational Record

Students have the right to inspect and review their educational records within 45 days of submitting the request. Students also have the right to request amendment of their educational records if the student believes there is inaccurate or misleading information or that the University is in violation of their privacy rights under FERPA.

In order to request a review of their educational record, students must submit the Request to View Educational Records Form to the Office of the Registrar. Amendment requests must clearly state the portion of the educational record that the student wants changed and the reasons for the change. If the request is denied, the Office of the Registrar will notify the student of their due process rights for a hearing regarding the request.

Right to File a Complaint

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education regarding any allegations of failure of the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Complaints may be sent to the below address:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202