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Student Rights Under FERPA

Grand Rapids Community College provides information to students on their rights under FERPA on their website at and in the GRCC Catalog. In addition, GRCC mails a postcard to all enrolled students in the Fall and Winter academic semester which includes the web address where students may navigate to review their rights. A student may request a paper copy of their rights under FERPA from Student Records.

The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are:

  • The right to request the amendment of the student's education record that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  • 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 employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agency); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility to be determined by the Provost.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Grand Rapids Community College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. 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, DC 20202-4605

Directory Information is not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. It includes:

  • legal name,
  • address,
  • telephone listing,
  • GRCC e-mail address,
  • student status: part-time/full-time;
  • username,
  • major field of study,
  • weight and height of athletes,
  • most recent previous school attended,
  • photographs,
  • date and place of birth,
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports,
  • dates of attendance,
  • degrees, date of graduation, and awards.

Directory Information does not include student identification numbers, Social Security numbers or other personally identifiable information.

Stop Form for Information Release

The college may release directory information to other educational institutions about students who are on the graduation list. Students who do not wish this information released must fill out the Directory Information STOP Card. These forms are available at the Student Records Office.

Reporting Requirements (addendum) 5/13/2002

In order to improve the instruction offered at Grand Rapids Community College, and to meet the requirements of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, Section 113 and the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Section 122, GRCC may use your Social Security number in order to compile summary reports as mandated by these acts.

Directory Information

Directory information as listed above may be released by the institution. If the College received a Freedom of Information Act (open records request) only directory information will be released. If you would like to block this release please contact Please note, directory information blocks will not allow GRCC to verify enrollment for employment, housing, or allow us to release information to students over the phone.

Understanding Ferpa

Understanding Ferpa (YouTube)