Record Release Policy
As a new Washington College student you are required to review this page, the “Allow Release of my Education Records (FERPA)” form and the “Directory Information Declaration” links on WebAdvisor, and the Parent Proxy link on Self Service within one week of the start of your first semester.
Washington College abides by federal law, specifically the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”) – also known as the “Buckley Amendment” – which restricts the release of a student’s educational records to others.
The law says that once students begin postsecondary study, the College can only release education records to parents or guardians if the student consents to that release in writing or if the parent or guardian provides us with proof of the student’s financial dependency (usually substantiated by a certified copy of the most recent Federal Income Tax Form).
FERPA also says that the College can share a student’s “directory information” – which includes home address, full-time student status, expected graduation date, etc. – with third-party organizations upon request. This is usually seen as a benefit to students. For example, we can verify that you are a current student or a graduate to potential employers or companies offering you a student discount, or we can share your honors and accomplishments with your hometown newspaper and other media outlets.
Students’ Rights Under FERPA
How to Specify Your Privacy Preferences
Allow Release of my Education Records (FERPA) – make selection on WebAdvisor
On the “Allow Release of my Education Records (FERPA)” form, you must decide whether you will permit us to discuss any aspect of your education record with your parent or guardian when they contact us.
Directions for completing the Allow Release of my Educational Records (FERPA) Form
- Login to WebAdvisor using your net ID and password.
- Click on the Students menu option (the maroon button to the right).
- Under the Information Forms heading, choose “Allow Release of my Education Records (FERPA).”
- Read the form in its entirety.
If you choose to authorize release of your education records to both of your parents or guardians, click the check box and then click [SUBMIT]. By submitting this authorization, you are allowing the College to share and discuss any information about your education record (e.g., your classes, major, midterm and final grades, progress toward graduation, financial aid, tuition bill, etc.) with a parent or guardian who contacts us. If your parent/guardian claims you as a dependent on their Federal Income Tax Form, you should select this option.
Note: If you wish to authorize only one parent or guardian to inquire about your education records, please visit the Registrar’s Office to file this request in writing. We can accommodate virtually all such privacy requests.
If you choose not to authorize Washington College to share or discuss any part of your education record with both of your parents or guardians, do not click the check box. Simply exit using the back button. This is the College’s default privacy setting for incoming students.
Authorizing release of your education records to your parent/guardian does not automatically give them access to view information about your record or account on Self Service account. Please read through the next section “Parent Proxy” for information on how to create a Self Service account for your parent or guardian.
Parent Proxy – make selection on Self Service
To grant your parent or guardian access to view information online about your record, you will need to update your privacy preferences on Self Service via the “View/Add Proxy Access” option.
Directions for completing the Proxy Access screen
- Login to Self Service using your net ID and password.
- Click on your net ID from the top right of your screen. A drop down menu will appear. Click View/Add Proxy Access.
- Please note, your parent or guardian must already be in our system in order for you to grant them access. If your parent or guardian is in our system, they will appear as an option on the Active Proxies screen. If they are not and you would like them added, please complete the “Add My Parent/Guardian to Self Service” form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office.
- To specify the information you would like your parent or guardian to view online, select their name from the “Select a Proxy” drop down menu. You will need to specify your preferences for each person listed.
- You can allow complete access to your records by clicking the “Allow Complete Access” radio button. This means that your parent or guardian will have complete access to all of the items listed in Self Service.
- You can choose select parts of your record you would like your parent or guardian to view by the “Allow Select Access” radio button. Select the items you would like to grant your parent or guardian access to.
- If your parent already has an active account in WebAdvisor, they can use that user ID and password to login to Self Service and view information about your record. If they do not already have an account, a username will be sent to the email address we have on file for them. A temporary password will be sent in a separate email.
It is important to note that granting your parent or guardian access to view your account information on Self Service does not automatically remove your FERPA hold. If you would like school officials to be able to discuss your educational record, you must release your education records on WebAdvisor via the form mentioned above.
Restrict Release of my Directory Information – make selection on WebAdvisor
On the second form (“Restrict Release of my Directory Information”), you must decide whether you wish to restrict your directory information from being shared with third-party organizations. Either decision may be revoked at any time by filing a written request in the Registrar’s Office.
As noted in the Washington College course catalog, release of this information to third parties is usually seen as a benefit to students. For example, the College can verify the current student status or graduation information to loan servicing organizations, potential employers or companies offering a student discount, or can share students’ honors and accomplishments with their hometown newspapers and other media outlets.
Directions for completing the Directory Information Declaration form
- Login to WebAdvisor using your email ID and password.
- Click on the Students menu option (the maroon button to the right).
- Under the Information Forms heading, choose “Directory Information Declaration.”
- Read the form in its entirety, especially the list of items considered directory information by the College.
If you authorize release of only your directory information to third-party persons or organizations, do not click the box. Simply exit the screen using the back button. This is the College’s default privacy setting.
If you choose not to authorize Washington College to release your directory information to third-party persons or organizations, click the check box and then click [SUBMIT]. This will change your privacy setting.
How do I change my privacy selections?
If at any time during your Washington College career you wish to change the privacy settings you selected on WebAdvisor (the FERPA and Directory Release forms), you may do so by contacting the Registrar’s Office in writing and specifying the changes you would like to make. Once your preferences are set on WebAdvisor using the steps above, these settings cannot be changed online. Please contact the Registrar’s Office in writing (providing a physical, pen-to-paper signature) to make any change to these settings.
If at any time during your Washington College career you wish to change the privacy settings you selected on Self Service (Proxy Access), you may do so online. Login to Self Service, and click on the View/Add Proxy Access screen. You can make edits by clicking on the pencil icon. Once you have selected the pencil icon you can make edits as necessary. If you have previously granted access to a parent or guardian and would like to remove their access to you’re your records completely, click on the “Remove All Access” radio button.
This section explains some of the terms used on this page in relationship to FERPA and Washington College’s own privacy policies.
- Directory Information – Information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. The College defines the following data as “directory information”:
- Student name
- Campus box number
- Campus phone number
- Hometown and state
- Permanent address
- Email address
- Class year
- Dates of attendance
- Full- or part-time status
- Graduation dates
- Expected graduation dates
- Previous institutions attended
- Cell phone number
- Home phone number
- Major(s) and minor(s)
- Concentration(s) or specialization(s)
- Awards and honors
- Honor Societies
- Participation in officially recognized sports
Although the College considers the above data “directory information” and will disclose it upon request from a third party, it makes every effort to restrict access to its official campus directory to only those with a Legitimate Educational Interest (LEI, defined below) and does not honor blanket requests from third parties for directory information pertaining to its entire student population except those related to the Solomon Amendment.
- Education Records – Any physical or electronic record maintained by Washington College which is directly related to a student, or that is linked or linkable to the student by means of his or her personally identifiable information (PII, defined below), with the following exceptions:
- Records made by College employees which are kept in the sole possession of the maker, are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record;
- Employment records unless the employment is contingent on the fact that the employee is a student;
- Records maintained by the Office of Public Safety solely for law enforcement purposes and not accessible to other offices of the College;
- Records made, maintained and used by Health and Counseling Services professionals or paraprofessionals (e.g., a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor) only in connection with treatment of the student, and disclosed only to individuals providing the treatment but not otherwise available to other offices of the College; such health records may be reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student’s choice as per the tenets of HIPAA;
- Alumni records containing information about individuals after they are no longer students and which do not relate to the individuals as students; and
- Records of former students who are now deceased.
- Legitimate Educational Interest (LEI) – The demonstrated “need to know” by those officials of an institution who act in the student’s educational interest. A school official has a legitimate educational interest when the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her responsibility on behalf of the university, such as when the official is performing a task that is specific in his or her job description or by a contract agreement or other official appointment; performing a task related to a student’s education; performing a task related to the discipline of a student; or providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.
- Personally Identifiable Information (PII) – Data or information which includes, but is not limited to:
- The student’s name;
- The name of the student’s parent or other family members;
- The address of the student or student’s family;
- A personal identifier, such as the student’s Social Security number, student number, or biometric record;
- Other indirect identifiers, such as the student’s date of birth, place of birth, and mother’s maiden name;
- Other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student that would allow a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty; or
- Information requested by a person who the College reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to whom the education record relates.
- School official – A person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position, including Public Safety and Health and Counseling Services staff, who act in the student’s educational interest within the limitations of their “need to know”; volunteers or contractors (individuals or entities) performing a service or function for which the College would otherwise use its employees, and who are under the direct control of the College with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from education records (e.g., an attorney, auditor, or vendor; the Maryland Higher Education Commission; the National Student Clearinghouse); individuals serving on the Board of Visitors and Governors; and students conducting College business (e.g., serving on official committees, working for the College, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks).
- Student – Any person who attends or has attended the College, as determined by matriculation and enrollment by the first date of an academic term.
Updates to FERPA