Privacy of Student Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is also known as the "Buckley Amendment." FERPA is a federal law enacted in 1974 which enables students certain rights with respect to their education records. Specifically, it enables students the right to:
Inspect and review their education records;
Request the amendment of inaccurate or misleading records;
Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education record; and
File a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by WUST to comply with this law.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), WUST protects the privacy of students’ records, including social security numbers, home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, grades, attendance dates and financial information. The Act provides each student, former student or alumnus with the right to inspect and review information contained in his/her academic file after submitting a written request to the Registrar, the Custodian of Records. When needed, each student also has the right to submit written requests for amendments to his/her academic records.
WUST strives to fully comply with this law by protecting the privacy of student records and judiciously evaluating requests for release of information from those records. FERPA authorizes the release of "Directory Information" without the student's prior consent under certain conditions which are set forth in the Act. Students who wish to withhold their directory information must submit a Directory Information Withhold Form to the Registrar’s Office.
With several exceptions provided by law, WUST cannot release information concerning students to third parties without their written consent. The provision of financial data to authorized agencies is not a violation of the Buckley Amendment. The student’s written consent is not required for the disclosure of grades, disciplinary action, or other information to parents of students who are dependents for Federal tax purposes. Parents requesting information may generally be granted access upon submission of a signed statement to WUST or other evidence of Federal income tax dependency. Inquiries regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) should be directed to the Registrar.
In case a student, his/her parents or any other individual has a complaint that an official of WUST is violating FERPA, and the complaint cannot be satisfactorily resolved by administration of the University, that individual has the right to file a complaint with the
Department of Education by contacting:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605;
Tel: (202) 260-3887
Students should be aware that as required by Virginia state law (SB559/HB984, §23–2.2:1), WUST must comply with all laws and, if requested under law, WUST must provide the Virginia State Police (or other legal agency with appropriate authority) with the following information: Student’s full name, social security number, date of birth, and gender.
Students who feel aggrieved with WUST, its policies, procedures, standards, regulations, practices, or its administration, faculty and staff or other students may submit grievances in writing to the Academic office. This can result in an investigation and hearing and eventual discipline against a student, staff, faculty or administrator. Due process and timely action will be observed. Dismissal of a student will not take place without a formal hearing.
Any issues or problems which have not been satisfactorily answered or resolved by WUST may also be directed to the:
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)
101 N. 14TH St., James Monroe Bldg. - Richmond, VA 23219
Tel: (804) 225-2600 and Fax: (804) 225-2604; www.schev.edu
Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
2101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 302, Arlington, VA 22201
Tel: 1-703-247-4212 and Fax: 1-703-347-4533, www.accsc.org