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Student Academic Records

Administrative Procedure 4.103

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. 1232g) (FERPA) protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA applies to all schools that receive federal funds.


College: Elgin Community College

Student: Any individual, regardless of age, who is or has been enrolled at the College for credit or noncredit course work, on or off campus, including evaluated and graded activities, such as a work-study program, an academic internship, or a student exchange program. The term does not apply to an individual for periods prior to or after that individual's enrollment at the College.

Education Records: Any record on any medium maintained by the College, an employee, or an agent of the College, that is directly related to a student, except:

A personal record made and kept in personal possession by a staff member who made the record, if the information has never been revealed or made available to anyone except the maker, or a temporary substitute for the maker, of the record.

An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that they are a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual's employment at the College. However, student employment records are education records when:

  • The student's employment position depends on their status as a student; or,
  • The student receives a grade or credit based on employment performance.

Records created and maintained by the Elgin Community College (ECC) Police Department for law enforcement.

Records associated with an individual's admission application to the College prior to their enrollment and attendance. This includes records associated with an admission application to enroll at the College or a component unit of the College if that application was denied. Alumni records containing non-student information after the student is no longer enrolled at the College.

Directory Information: Name, address, Student ID number, ECC-issued student email address, dates of attendance, major, degrees, awards, honors, weight, and height of athletes. It is the intent of the College to limit disclosure of directory information to those instances where prior written consent has been given to the disclosure or under those provisions of FERPA that allow disclosure without prior written consent.  

Personally Identifiable Information: Any data or information that relates a record to an individual. This includes but is not limited to name, the name of parents or other family members, address, Social Security number, any other identifying number or symbol, a list of personal characteristics, or any other information that would make the individual's identity known and can be used to label a record as the individual's.

Annual Notification

Each year the Dean of Students Office provides students with Right to Know information via College-issued student email addresses of all students. The notice includes, but is not limited to a link to this administrative procedure which informs students of their rights to their records in compliance with FEPRA, as described in the next section, Statement of Rights.

Statement of Rights

The College encourages students to exercise all of their rights under FERPA and this procedure. These rights include:

The right of a student to inspect and review their education records. The student will assume personal responsibility to verify the accuracy and completion of their education record. The Associate Dean of Admissions/Registrar has been designated by the College to coordinate the inspection and review procedures of student records. The College is not required to provide copies of records unless doing so limits the student’s right to inspect and review their records.

  • Students desiring to review their records must submit a written request that precisely identifies the needed records to the Associate Dean of Admissions/Registrar or designee.
  • The Associate Dean of Admissions/Registrar or designee will arrange access as promptly as possible and will notify the student regarding the time and place when the records may be inspected.
  • Access or notification of the nonexistence of requested records must be given to the student within 45 calendar days from the receipt of the request.
  • When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may only inspect and review their own records.

The right to expect the College to limit disclosure of student education records to the following circumstances:

  • Student's prior written consent.
  • Under the provisions of FERPA that allow disclosure without prior written consent.

The right to seek to amend education records believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy or other student's rights.

The right to request a hearing if the request to correct an inaccuracy is denied. 

If a student believes the College is violating FERPA, the student has a right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

Use of Student's Education Records

College officials with a legitimate educational interest may have access to protected information within the scope of performing their job duties.

The College will apply the following criteria to establish the definition of a College official having access to education records:

  • A person elected to and currently serving on the Board of Trustees of District 509;
  • A person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position;
  • A person employed by the College as a temporary substitute for an administrative staff member or faculty member for the period of their performance as a substitute;
  • A person employed by or under contract to the College to perform a special task, such as the attorney, auditor, secretary, clerk, presenter, or consultant for their performance as an employee or contractor.

College officials who meet the above criteria will have access to personally identifiable information contained in student education records if they have a legitimate educational interest for access. A legitimate educational interest is the official's need for student education record information to:

  • perform an administrative task outlined in the official's position description or contract approved by the College;
  • perform a supervisory or instructional task directly related to the student's education;
  • perform a service or benefit for the student or student's family such as health care, childcare, counseling, financial aid, job placement, admissions, records and registration, student life activities, and business transactions; or
  • perform tasks related to the discipline of a student.

Right of the College to Refuse Access

The College reserves the right to refuse access to a student to inspect the following records:

  • The financial statement of the student's parents;
  • Statements and letters of recommendation for which the student has waived their right of access, or which were placed in the student's records before January 1, 1975. If these letters and statements have been used for any purpose other than that for which they were originally prepared, the student may inspect and review them;
  • Records connected with an application to attend the College or a program of the College if that application was denied;
  • Those records are not defined as education records.

Records Disclosure

College officials will secure a student's prior written consent before disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records. The College reserves the right for its officials to make such disclosures without the student's consent in the following circumstances:

To certain Federal and State officials who need information to audit or enforce legal conditions related to federally supported education programs in the College;

To other schools to which the student is transferring;

To parties who provide or may provide financial aid to the student:

  • establish the student's eligibility for the aid;
  • determine the amount of financial aid;
  • establish conditions for the receipt of the financial aid; or
  • enforce the terms of the agreement between the provider and the receiver of the financial aid.

If a state law existed prior to November 19, 1974, requiring disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in a student's education record, the college will continue to disclose such information in accordance with the state law.

When the College has entered a written agreement or contract with an organization to conduct a study on the College's behalf to develop tests, administer student aid, or improve instruction.

To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.

To parents of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes under the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The College will exercise this option only if evidence of such dependency is furnished to the Records Office and all requests for disclosures under this provision are referred to that office.

To comply with a judicial order or lawful subpoena. The College will make a reasonable effort to notify the student before it makes a disclosure under this provision.

To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency:

  • The disclosure is warranted by the seriousness of the threat to the health or safety of the student or other persons;
  • The information is needed to meet the emergency;
  • The persons to whom the information is to be disclosed are qualified, and in a position to deal with, the emergency; and
  • Time is an important and limiting factor in dealing with an emergency.

To military recruiters who request recruiting information in compliance with the Solomon Amendment. The Solomon Amendment, a federal law (10 U.S.C. sec. 983), mandates that institutions receiving certain federal agency funding must fulfill military recruitment requests for access to campus and for lists containing student recruiting information. If colleges do not comply, they may lose funds essential to their campus. The Solomon Amendment allows personally identifiable student information to be released to recruiters that would have been denied them under FERPA.

Officials of the College may not disclose personally identifiable information contained in a student's education record, except as listed above, without a student's prior written consent. Please find the Granting Access to Your Records section on the Student Records and Transcripts web page for the Student Consent for Access to Education Records form.

The student may obtain a copy of any records the College discloses with the student's prior written consent.

Refusal to Provide Copies

The College reserves the right to deny transcripts or copies of records not required by FERPA in any of the following situations:

  • There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student;
  • There is unresolved litigation between the student and the College.

Administrative Responsibility

Students with questions related to this procedure should contact the Associate Dean of Admissions and Registrar, the FERPA designee, at for help. 

See related Administrative Procedures, Records Retention and Disposal 3.102 and Appeal for Complaint Procedure 4.408.