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Student Records Policy

University of South Dakota Student Records Policy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 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. FERPA gives students certain rights with respect to their education records. 

  1. the right to inspect and review the student's education records
  2. the right to request the amendment of the student's education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights
  3. the right to a hearing if the request to correct an alleged inaccuracy is denied  
  4. the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent
  5. the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Education concerning alleged failures by The University of South Dakota or any of its schools or colleges to comply with the requirements of FERPA. 
2010 FERPA Policy Update

The FERPA policy of the University of South Dakota was last updated in March 2010. Three factors have since influenced the policy:

  1. Recent and formal federal clarification of FERPA.
  2. The July 1, 2009, introduction of the open records law in South Dakota.
  3. Institutional change of name (USDSU to University Center).

Highlights include the following:  

  1. Disclosure of records of missing persons:  
    [The University of South Dakota] will disclose information to the parent or guardian, an appointee of the parent or guardian, the next of kin, or a personal representative of the student's estate of a student who is officially declared a missing person by state or federal authorities. This exception applies only if the person is thought by the administration to be reasonably conducting business on behalf of the student. The University of South Dakota reserves the right to limit or deny access.    
  2. Directory Information:
    Designated by the University of South Dakota as the following items: student name, address, email, hometown, major field of study, past and present participation in officially recognized activities and sports, enrollment status (undergraduate or graduate, full- or part-time), class, dates of attendance, degree(s) conferred (including dates), honors and awards received (but not scholarships), most recent school(s) attended, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and photograph.

For complete documentation and regulations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, please visit the U.S. Department of Education  web site.

FERPA-related forms for restricting directory information (confidentiality request), requesting to review and inspect records, record of requests for/disclosures of student information and release of information are available in the Office of the Registrar Forms section of this web site.