Record Release Policy
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.
Washington College has implemented a new Record Release permission system to better serve the students' needs. As per FERPA, the College needs the student to e-sign a record release if the student would like to grant permission to the College to share personal student information to their parent(s)/guardian(s). This includes the student's tuition/fees account, Financial Aid, and academic information. Please see more information provided in this link, as well as below.
To update your FERPA access so that Washington College knows with whom we can share
any Business Office/Financial Aid/Academic Records:
1. Log into Self-Service
2. At the top right of the screen, click on your username.
3. Click on "Student Records Release (FERPA)"
4. Click on "Add Person/Relationship."
4. You will be given the option to deny access to anyone (so no information can be shared) or you can choose to grant specific access to specific people. The three categories students can grant individual permission for are: Academic Records, Billing Information, and Financial Aid. Students may grant access to none at all, or to only certain categories of the three, or all three combined. The permissions for each proxy person may be identical, or they may be different. This decision is entirely up to the students' discretion.
Please note: If proxy access is not granted in Self-Service, the default permission is to act under the assumption that the student does not wish their records to be released. Washington College can only share student information with explicit permission from the student.
For more in-depth explanations of students' rights under FERPA, please read the information provided below:
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
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 contact your admissions counselor so they can add them to the system.
- 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.
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