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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

Official Notice to Students
Student Records Policy for Texas A&M University

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended (FERPA), the following directory information may be made public unless the student desires to withhold any or all of this information:

  • Name
  • Universal Identification Number (UIN) **effective January 2012**
  • Local Address
  • Permanent Address
  • E-mail Address
  • Local Telephone Number
  • Permanent Telephone Number
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Program of Study (college, major, and campus)
  • Classification
  • Previous Educational Agencies/Institutions Attended
  • Degrees, Honors and Awards Received
  • Participation in Officially Recognized Activities and Sports

For currently enrolled students wishing to withhold any or all directory information items: click on the “Directory Hold Information” link in the Student Records channel on the MyRecord tab. Information may be restricted at any time by using Howdy. Then print the Hold Directory Information form, complete it and bring it to the Office of Records.

Once information has been published in a printed publication, it cannot be removed from that publication.

Under FERPA, only currently enrolled students are eligible to restrict directory information. Once a student has left the university, they can no longer set restrictions on directory information at the university. If a student restricts his/her directory information and leaves the university, the restriction continues until the student removes it by any of the same methods listed above.

Texas A&M University at Qatar and the Office of the Records will exercise discretion in the release of all directory information.

Statement of Rights
Texas A&M University at Qatar encourages students to exercise all of their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g). Operating under the premise that the educational process is a cooperative venture between a student and the University, we emphasize the following rights of eligible students:

  1. The right to inspect and review, with certain limited exceptions, the student’s educational records, including the right to receive explanations and interpretations of the records and to obtain copies of the records when such are needed to allow the student to effectively exercise his/her right of inspection and review;
  2. 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; One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person or entity: (a) employed by the university or the university system in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; (b) serving on a university governing body or duly authorized panel or committee; or (c) employed by or under contract to the university to perform a special task, function, or service for the university. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the information requested is necessary for that official to (a) perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his/her position description or in the performance of regularly assigned duties by a lawful supervisor; (b) fulfill the terms of a contractual agreement; (c) perform a task related to a student’s education; (d) perform a task related to the discipline of a student; or (e) provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, financial aid, job placement, or former student-related activities. Disclosure to a school official having a legitimate educational interest does not constitute university authorization to transmit, share, or disclose any or all information received to third parties unless such disclosure is permitted or required by law.
  3. The right to correct a student’s education records when the records are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of FERPA;
  4. The right to report violations of FERPA to the Department of Education;
  5. The right to be informed about FERPA rights.

All the rights and protections given students under FERPA belong to the student, however, information in student records may be provided to parents/legal guardians without the written consent of the student if the eligible student is a financial dependent of his or her parents/legal guardians as defined under Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

For procedures on how to inspect and review or correct education records, contact Director of Records, Kerry Noack, at 974-4423-0078 or email kerry.noack@qatar.tamu.edu.

Records Not Available Under FERPA
Students shall have access to all education records concerning them maintained by the university with the exception of the following:

  1. A personal record kept by a University faculty or staff member which meets the following tests:
    – It is in personal possession of the individual who made it.
    – Information contained in it has never been revealed or made available to any other person except the maker’s temporary substitute.
  2. An employment record which is used only in relation to a student’s employment by the university, except where an individual in attendance at the university is employed as a result of his or her status as a student.
  3. Records relating to a student which are created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or para-professional acting in his or her professional or para-professional capacity, or assisting that capacity, which are used in connection with providing treatment to a student, are not disclosed to anyone other than the individuals providing the treatment.
  4. Financial records and statements of a student’s parents/legal guardians.
  5. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation which are placed in the education records of a student prior to January 1, 1975.
  6. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation which are placed in the education records of a student on or after January 1, 1975, if the student has waived his or her right to inspect and review the letters or statements.
  7. Records concerning admissions to an academic component of the university which the student has never attended.

Questions concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) may be referred to the Interim Director of Records.

Releasing Non-Directory Information
Under provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students enrolled in post-secondary educational institutions are deemed to “own” their educational records. Institutions may, but are not required to, grant access to certain non-directory information in a student’s educational record if the student is carried as a dependent on the parent’s/guardian’s federal income tax return. Under no circumstances will non-directory information be released to a parent or guardian unless a FERPA Release form is completed and signed by the student and is brought to the Office of Records, Texas A&M University Engineering Building.

Currently enrolled students that are Sponsored are oftentimes required to release non-directory information to Sponsors. If you are a sponsored student, the FERPA Release form must be completed and signed by the student before any information can be released.

Please note that the information on the FERPA Release form will remain on the student record until a new form is submitted that has names removed.

Current students may authorize parental/guardian access to view certain non-directory information (e.g., grades) within Howdy. In order for parents/guardians to gain access to this information in Howdy, the student must request it via the MyRecord tab in Howdy. Once a student is no longer enrolled at Texas A&M University at Qatar, a parent’s/guardian’s Howdy account will be inactivated. If a student re-enrolls at Texas A&M University at Qatar, the student may re-activate the parent/guardian Howdy accounts by following the aforementioned steps to authorize the parent/guardian access. Once parental/Guardian Howdy access has been inactivated upon their student becoming a former student, parents/guardians may still contact the Office of Records if they want to obtain information on their former student providing the parent/guardian is able to demonstrate eligibility to receive this information in compliance with FERPA guidelines.

Penalties for Violating FERPA
The Family Policy Compliance Office reviews and investigates complaints of violations of FERPA. The penalty for violating FERPA is loss of all federal funding, including grants and financial aid.

If you witness or commit what you believe to be a possible FERPA violation, please notify the Office of Records immediately at 974-4423-0078. The Office of Records will investigate the matter and determine what action, if any, should be taken. If you have any questions about FERPA compliance or the release of student information, please contact Dr. Kerry Noack, director of Records at +974.4423.0078 or email kerry.noack@qatar.tamu.edu.