Student Records & Release of Information – FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Public Law 93-380, Section 438 of the General Education Provision Act, is also known as the “Buckley Amendment.” FERPA is a federal law enacted in 1974 which affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Specifically, it gives students the right to:
1. Inspect and review their education records;
2. Request the amendment of inaccurate or misleading records;
3. Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education record; and
4. File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Bay Atlantic University to comply with this law.
Educational records mean those records, files, documents, and other materials that contain information directly related to a student. Bay Atlantic University 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.
The University will not permit access to or release of confidential information from a student’s records to any individual or agency without the written consent of the student, except for the following situations:
1. Name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, program undertaken, dates of attendance, and certificates, diplomas and degrees awarded may be provided to third parties unless the request to omit such information is presented in writing.
2. Records required by Bay Atlantic University officials in the proper performance of their duties.
3. Organizations conducting studies for educational and governmental agencies.
4. U.S. government agencies as listed in Public Law 93-380 requesting information for specific purposes
5. At the request of any Accrediting agencies
6. Parents of dependent children as defined in the Internal Revenue Code of 1954
7. Appropriate persons in connection with an emergency.
8. For the purposes of awarding financial aid
9. In response to legal court orders
Definition of Student Records
Student files are maintained by the Registrar’s and Admissions Offices and include the following student information:
- Enrollment Agreement Form at the time of initial enrollment for each program, which includes the enrollment contract and other information relating to the payment for educational services
- Copy of passport or ID card that indicates the student name (international students only)
- Permanent (home) and/or local addresses
- Social Security Number and date of birth
- Admission-related documents as well as an acceptance letter issued by the University
- Copy of diploma/certificate
- Copy of transcript, which shows the graduation date and the degree/certificate obtained at Bay Atlantic University
- Records of warning, probation, dismissal, or termination, if applicable
- These additional records are kept in a student file when applicable:
- Copy of I-20 for F-1 visa students
- Copy of non-immigrant visa for foreign students
- Veterans Administration records for veterans
Bay Atlantic University has the right to keep all documents that a student submits to the University.
Document Retention and Destruction Policy
According to the Sarbanes Act of 2002, which makes it a crime to alter, cover up, falsify, or destroy any document with the intent of impeding or obstructing any official proceeding, this policy provides for the systematic review, retention and destruction of documents received or created in connection with the transaction of organization business. This policy covers all records and documents and contains guidelines for how long certain documents should be kept and how records should be destroyed. The policy is designed to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.
Academic Records [500*]-001-999
|Record and Descriptions||Retention Period||Disposition Method|
|Course/ Curricular Records: Academic CatalogThesis/ DissertationStudent Transcripts IssuedFaculty Transcripts Received||Permanent All hard-copy documents are to be converted into soft copy after 5 years.||Not disposed. In Academic Storage|
|Accreditation Records Academic Licensures and Certificates||Permanent||Not disposed. In Academic Storage|
|Accreditation Supporting Documents||5 years after last action||Non-Confidential Destruction|
|Academic Honors and Scholarships||3 years after the end of academic year||Non-Confidential Destruction|
|Class Rolls and Grade Sheets||3 years after the end of academic year||Confidential Destruction|
|Student Sponsorship Information||3 years after graduation||Non-Confidential Destruction|
|Application/ Admission Records: Passport InformationVisa InformationPrevious Transcripts & DiplomaFinancial InformationCredential EvaluationsAdmissions Test Scores||5 years after graduation/ leaving||Confidential Destruction|
Electronic Documents and Records
Electronic documents will be retained as if they were paper documents. Therefore, any electronic files, including records of donations made online, that fall into one of the document types in the above schedule will be maintained for the appropriate amount of time. If a user has sufficient reason to keep an email message, the message should be printed in hard copy and kept in the appropriate file or moved to an “archive” computer file folder. Backup and recovery methods will be tested on a regular basis.
BAU’s records will be stored in a safe, secure and accessible manner. Documents and financial files that are essential to keeping BAU operating in an emergency will be duplicated or backed up at least every week and maintained off-site.
BAU’s Chief Financial Officer is responsible for the ongoing process of identifying the University records which have met the required retention period and overseeing their destruction. Destruction of financial and personnel-related documents will be accomplished by shredding. The CFO designates a person in the Accounting Office who is responsible for maintaining a filing system.
Document destruction will be suspended immediately upon any indication of an official investigation or when a lawsuit is filed or appears imminent. Destruction will be reinstated upon conclusion of the investigation.
Failure on the part of employees to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions against BAU and its employees and possible disciplinary action against responsible individuals. The Accounting Office and CFO will periodically review these procedures with legal counsel or the organization’s certified public accountant to ensure that it is in compliance with new or revised regulations.
Obtaining Academic and Financial Records
Students who wish to allow a third party to access their academic records may do so only by completing a FERPA Waiver Form. If a student owes outstanding fees of any kind to the University, all academic records will be withheld until the account is resolved.
Bay Atlantic University issues transcripts at the written request of the student only. Students may request their transcripts by completing a Transcript Request Form, paying the transcript request fee, and submitting their form and receipt to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar will then process the transcripts and either (a) make them available for pickup by the student, or (b) mail them to the requested address.
Unofficial transcripts are available digitally to students at all times through OIS, BAU’s Student Information System.
Diplomas are issued upon the student’s degree completion, and after he/she completes the Graduation Application Form and pays all tuition and graduation fees. Diplomas are issued to the student only and are only issued once.
Students may request their financial records by contacting the Finance Office or digitally on OIS on their personal page. Financial records are available to the student only, unless s/he completes a FERPA Release Form. Financial records are never withheld from the student and are always made available.
Disclosure of Performance and Placement Information
Federal requirements relating to student achievement disclosures are derived from several legislative acts and regulations:
The Student-Right-to-Know Act (P.L. 101-542), enacted in 1990, requires institutions participating in Title IV programs to calculate completion or graduation rates of certificate or degree-seeking full time-students and to disclose this information to all students and prospective students (Title 1, Section 103).
The Higher Education Opportunity Act, reauthorized in 2008, requires institutions participating in Title IV programs to make general institutional disclosures to students, including retention, graduation and placement data (Section 485). This section also requires the disclosure of certain demographic information, including the percentage of male and female students, Pell Grant recipients, and racial and ethnic minorities.
The Gainful Employment (GE) regulation 34 CFR 668.6, part of the Department of Education’s Program Integrity Rules, imposes a series of GE program disclosures:
Occupations (by name and SOC codes) that the program prepares students to enter;
- Normal time to complete the program;
- On-time graduation rate for completers;
- Tuition and fees for completing the program in the normal time, costs for books and supplies, and costs for room and board, if applicable;
- Placement rate for completers if required by state or accreditor;
- Median educational loan debt incurred by completers in three categories: Title IV loans, private loans and institutional debt.
The regulation requires this disclosure of information to be incorporated into an institution’s promotional materials whenever feasible. A URL may be substituted in cases where size or format makes including the information infeasible.
Although BAU does not yet participate in any Title IV programs, in order to meet expectation of transparency and integrity in all information shared by the member institution, is releasing the following information from the Campus Accountability Reports:
BAU applies the following definitions of Placement. Any graduate is “placed” when the graduate meets one or more of the following criteria:
The graduate is deemed “placed” when BAU publishes his/her job title as one that the degree program prepares students for. Job titles are published on each program website in compliance with USDOE Title IV regulations and are identified in the Department’s CIP-to-SOC Crosswalk (Standard Occupational Classification, U.S. Department of Labor) with the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code of this program; or,
- The graduate is deemed “placed” when the predominant component of the graduate’s job requires use of SKILLS learned in the program. The skills list is published on the program website and/or in the Academic Catalog. The majority of skills are documented in the job description; or,
- The graduate is deemed “placed” when the graduate was hired based upon the benefit of the campus’s TRAINING, when the graduate maintained a current job, received a promotion, or improved job-related skills
BAU follows the calculation methods to report the placement rates as follows:
(Placed by job title + Placed by skills + Placed by benefit of training) / ((Completers + Graduates) – (Exemptions*))
*Exemptions include pregnancy, death or other health-related issues, continuing education, military service, visa restrictions, enrollment in English as a Second Language (ESL) program, and incarceration.