The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Students obtain these rights upon attendance at Wilkes University. Attendance at Wilkes University begins with either the first day of class or the date the student moves into student housing, whichever is earlier. Wilkes University has chosen to assume that all students have reached the age of legal majority (18) as stated in the document.

Consequently, bills and grades are sent, in the student’s name, directly to the permanent address listed for the student. Mid-term notices are sent directly to students at their on-campus, off-campus or permanent address. An exception is made for the mid-semester evaluations for first-year students and students who are on academic probation. Those mid-term records of satisfactory or unsatisfactory performance and attendance are sent to the students at their appropriate address and to the parents or legal guardians of these students.

In accordance with the provision of The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, students, upon request, will be given access to all their evaluative or opinion records that have been established by Wilkes. Such records might typically include those maintained by the Career Services Office, Health Services, Registrar, and the Office of Student Affairs. These records will be open to inspection in the presence of the appropriate University official. Procedurally, appointments must be made by students in advance to review their files and the University has a maximum of 45 days following the request to produce the records.

Typically, student records are maintained in the following University offices:

Record Type Office
Academic Information Registrars Office
Career, Placement Service Records Career Services Office
Financial Records Controller's Office
Financial Aid Records Financial Aid Office
Medical Records Health Services Office
Residence Life and Disciplinary Records Residence Life or Student Life and Success Office
Student Personnel/Transcript/Disciplinary Records/Official Correspondence Student Life and Success Office

The following information will not be released to a student:

  1. Letters of reference and recommendation placed in a student’s file prior to 1/1/1975,
  2. Parent’s financial records unless written authorization is obtained from parents,
  3. Private notes created by University personnel to serve as memory aids.
  4. Records connected with denied applications to attend the Wilkes University.
  5. Records not included in the FERPA definition of educational records.

The Registrar releases directory information: the student’s name, address (including email address), telephone number, photograph, field of study, dates of attendance, degrees, awards, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended by the student. This information may be released without a student’s consent. A student may request such information not be released by the Registrar. This request must be made in writing to the Registrar by the end of the first week of classes of the semester. Such requests must be filed yearly.

Directory Information is not published for distribution to vendors, but is furnished to law enforcement agencies and within the University community.

Information contained in a student’s record may not be released without the student’s written consent with the following exceptions:

  • Disclosure is authorized in writing by the student. When the University releases or discloses information to third parties pursuant to a student's written authorization, it is done on the condition that the third party to whom the information or record is released or disclosed will not, in turn, release or disclose it to anyone else without the express written consent of the student.
  • Disclosure is to University officers or employees who need to know so as to accomplish legitimate purposes related to their functions.
  • Disclosure is to officials of other schools in which a student intends to enroll.
  • Disclosure is to parents of dependent students. Dependency status, for the purpose of this policy statement, is defined by Internal Revenue Service guidelines. Documentation must be provided prior to release of information.
  • Disclosure is to specified representatives of governmental agencies, educational organizations or other entities as described by federal regulations or otherwise required by state or federal law. Custodians of records should obtain interpretations whenever third parties request personally identifiable information.
  • Disclosure is in connection with a student's application for, or receipt of, financial aid.
  • Disclosure is in compliance with a conduct order or subpoena. The staff member receiving such order, shall, if possible, immediately notify the student concerned in writing prior to compliance with such order or subpoena.
  • Disclosure is to parents of students under the age of 21 who are found to be in violation of alcohol and/or drug policies.
  • Information from University records may be released to appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons.

Wilkes University’s guidelines for implementing FERPA are maintained by the Vice President for Student Affairs. Students should address questions, concerns, or problems to:

Mark Allen
Associate Vice President for Student Life and Success

Students may file formal complaints regarding alleged failure of the College to comply with FERPA with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

The Registrar’s Office will maintain a record kept with the permanent educational record of each student which will indicate all parties other than those listed above and in 99:30 of the Act who have requested and obtained access to a student’s record which will indicate specifically the legitimate interest that each party has in obtaining this information.

During each academic year the Marketing Communications Office will, for various reasons, send releases containing student information to the media. Information may include items such as: name, address (including email address), telephone listing, date and place of birth, name and address of parent or guardian, major field, photograph, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height (if one is a member of an athletic team), dates of attendance, degrees and awards received; the Dean’s List; lists of graduates, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.

Under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, students have the right to withhold disclosure of any or all of the items listed above. Written notification to withhold this information from the media must be received each year by the Marketing Communication Office by the end of the first week of classes of the semester. Such requests must be filed yearly.

A request to withhold any or all of the above data will not restrict internal use of the material by the University.

Student’s rights under FERPA include the following:

  1. The right to inspect and review information contained in educational records.
  2. The right to request amendment of educational records to ensure they are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of privacy or other rights.
  3. The right to consent to disclosure, with exceptions specified in the Act, of personally identifiable information from education records.
  4. This copy of institutional policy.
  5. The right to file complaints with the Department of Education concerning alleged failure of this institution to comply with the Act.

Students may waive any or all rights to review confidential letters and statements of Recommendation.

The right of waiver is subject to the following conditions:

  1. The institution may not require waivers.
  2. No institutional service or benefit be denied students who fail to supply waivers.
  3. Documents for which a student has waived the right to access are used only for the purposes for which the waiver was collected.
  4. Waivers must be in writing and signed by the student.