Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives you, your parents and CBC certain rights when it comes to your education records. As the name indicates, it also protects your privacy!

CBC (and any school covered under FERPA) is required to notify enrolled students of their rights annually. We fulfill this responsibility by publishing FERPA information in the yearly catalog. See the full annual disclosure text.

Your Rights as a Student

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) governs and protects your rights to your individual educational records. The primary rights protected under FERPA are the students' rights to:

  • Review and inspect their educational records;
  • Have their educational records amended or corrected;
  • Control disclosure of certain portions of their educational records.

Educational records are all the records maintained by CBC about individual students, with seven exceptions:

  • Personal notes of CBC faculty and staff
  • Employment records
  • Counseling records used solely for treatment (CBC will only provide counseling records if served a subpoena or court order.)
  • Campus Security records
  • Financial records of a parent or spouse
  • Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in your records before January 1, 1975
  • Confidential letters and statements of recommendation for admission, employment or honorary recognition placed in your records after January 1, 1975, for which you have waived the right to inspect and review

In accordance with FERPA, CBC has designated the following categories of information about individual students as public, or directory, information. This information may be released to any inquirer unless you specifically request that all of the items on the following list be withheld:

  • Student name
  • Major field of study
  • Enrollment status
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degree or certificate earned
  • Quarter degree or certificate awarded
  • Honors
  • Participation in recognized sports

The following categories of information are considered private and are protected by CBC:

  • Address
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Student Identification Number (SID)
  • Place of birth
  • Residency status
  • Marital status
  • Married name or previous name
  • Parents' names and address
  • High school units
  • Transfer credits
  • Courses completed
  • Grades
  • Credits and grade points
  • Grade point average
  • Current class schedule
  • Advisor's name
  • Academic actions
  • Current disciplinary actions
  • Participation in recognized activities
  • Height and weight of members of athletic teams
  • Awards received

Under FERPA, your prior written consent must be obtained before your educational record may be disclosed to a third party, unless the third party is exempt.

Information will be released without your prior written consent to the following groups or individuals:

  • CBC faculty and staff with a legitimate educational need to know
  • Representatives of agencies or organizations from which you have received financial aid, including banks or other lending agencies from which you have guaranteed student loans
  • Officials of other educational institutions in which you intend to enroll
  • Individuals or groups specifically exempted from the prior consent requirement
  • Federal and state officials and organizations conducting studies on behalf of CBC and accrediting organizations
  • Requests in connection with an emergency, if such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of you or another person
  • Requests in accordance with a lawful subpoena or court order

It is possible to restrict even your public information, but please make an informed decision, as there are numerous consequences when you restrict public access to your directory information.

Please note: Should you decide to restrict the release of your public information, any future requests will be expressly refused. For example:

  • A prospective employer requesting degree confirmation of your major field of study or dates of attendance would be denied access to such items.
  • Your name would not appear in the graduation ceremony program.

CBC will honor your request to withhold all of the items of public records information listed, but we are unable to assume responsibility to contact you for subsequent permission to release the information.

If you wish to restrict all public information in your educational record, please file a Disclosure of Directory Information form (available at Hawk Central) to the Registrar within 15 calendar days after the beginning of the quarter.

Requests to review your records must be made in writing to the Registrar. The Registrar has up to 30 business days to schedule a time for you to visit Student Records to review your records on campus. Copies* may be provided to you only, and a fee may be assessed at an amount not to exceed the actual cost to the College.
*Copies of official transcripts from other educational institutions are prohibited. Please contact the institutions from which the transcripts originated to obtain official transcripts.

Should you wish to release non-directory information contained within your educational records to third parties, you can complete the Release of Information form (ROI). This release will remain in effect until the expiration date on the ROI.

If your parent(s) claim(s) you as a dependent on their Internal Revenue tax forms, they are allowed to view elements of your education record such as your class schedule, grades and financial statements. To gain access, your parents will have to complete and submit the Parental Affidavit for Academic Information form. If you are not listed as a dependent, the only way your parents can receive this type of information directly from CBC is if you complete the Release of Information form (ROI).

You may request to have records corrected that you believe to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of your privacy rights. To request a change, contact%20the%20Registrar.

Your request will need to be submitted in writing to the Registrar, clearly identifying the part of the record you want changed and specifying why the record is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate.

The College will provide a written response to your request, either demonstrating the change in the record which has been made or the decision not to amend the record as requested. In the latter case, the College will notify you of your right to a hearing regarding the request for the amendment as well as provide additional information regarding hearing procedures.

Your Parents' Rights

When your child becomes a college student, understanding your rights as a parent can be confusing. At CBC, we know you care about your child’s success!

When your student was in elementary and secondary school, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gave you and your student rights to access and control their educational records. Now that your student is in college, these same laws apply, but they transfer ownership and control of the records directly to your student. This applies even if your student is still a dependent, no matter the age when they enter a post-secondary school.

According to FERPA, college students are considered responsible adults and are allowed to determine who will receive information about them. While you understandably have an interest in your student’s academic progress, you aren’t automatically granted access to your student’s educational records without their written consent. We encourage you to consult with your student if you need their academic information. Your student may give you permission to access their records by filing a Release of Information form (ROI).

If you claim your student as a dependent on your Internal Revenue tax forms, you may be provided access to the following education records:

  • Class schedule
  • Unofficial academic transcript
  • Bill and payment plan information
  • Financial aid award information

To gain access, you will need to complete and submit the Parental Affidavit for Academic Information form per the instructions. A copy of the most recent year's federal tax form documenting your student as a dependent must be attached to the Affidavit. If your student is not listed as a dependent, the only way you can receive this type of information directly from CBC is if your student completes the Release of Information form (ROI).

Note: Even if you are granted access to your student’s education record, this does not authorize you to initiate or complete transactions, make changes to the student record, or serve as a representative on the student’s behalf. You will only be allowed to receive recorded academic information, such as grades posted to a transcript, financial statement or a class schedule.

The quickest and easiest way for you to receive information about your student's academic records is for the student to provide you a copy.

As a matter of policy, CBC does not release education records or private information over the phone, by fax or by email. We would be happy to mail you a copy! Contact%20Student%20Records for further information.

The College does not automatically send records to third parties designated by the student. You will need to request a copy of the desired information in person at Hawk Central or by sending a letter with your signature. A request must be submitted each time you wish to receive protected information.

FERPA requires that access to a college student’s record must be granted by approval of the student. You can, however, receive information about your student if you submit proof that they are a dependent with a Parental Affidavit for Academic Information form. Proof is considered to be a copy of the most recent year's federal tax form showing that you claimed your student as a dependent.

FERPA regulations protect a student's "education records," which include grades, finances, and discipline records. Mental health records are covered by other College policies, federal law and professional ethics. In general, professionals working in these areas will not release student information except in emergency situations. Your student can choose to release information from these records to a third party. However, students must consult with the practitioner and/or the Counseling/Advising Center supervisor prior to granting access.

In most cases, CBC will not contact you or provide counseling, academic, or disciplinary information without your student's permission. As a general guideline, if your student is able to communicate about the situation, it is up to them to decide whether and how to discuss the issues. In an extreme emergency where the health or safety of your student is in serious jeopardy, we will make every attempt to contact you.

FERPA regulations allow, but do not require, higher education institutions to provide notice to parents when a student violates federal, state or local laws related to alcohol or drugs. CBC policy states that we can release this information to parents if the student is under the age of 21.

Your Responsibility as a Student Worker

As a student worker, please be aware that all FERPA rules and procedures apply whenever accessing student education records. It is important to remember that a student must provide written consent before an institution may disclose personally identifiable information from their education records. All requests from a third party for an educational record from CBC must be forwarded to the Registrar. As school officials, you may access education records provided you have a legitimate educational interest that is within the scope of performing your job duties. If in doubt, do not hesitate to contact the Registrar.

If you are a student workers, you need to be aware of the following guidelines when accessing student records.

FERPA recognizes a person enrolled in post-secondary education as a "student" and provides that individual certain rights, regardless of age. Therefore, a parent does not have an inherent right to access their student's education records.

You have access to education records for the sole purpose of performing your job professionally and responsibly. You are responsible for protecting the confidentiality of education records in their possession, regardless of the medium in which the records are presented.

Education records are considered confidential and may not be released without the written consent of the student, with the exception of unrestricted Directory Information. Even if listed as Directory Information, it is your responsibility to refer all questions regarding the release of academic information to the Registrar.

School officials, including student workers, must protect the privacy of education records and not disclose personally identifiable information contained in a student record without the student's written consent. To provide written consent, a student must complete, sign, and submit a Release of Information form (ROI).

Refer third-party requests to the Registrar.

As a result of the Virginia Tech incident of April 2007, the US Department of Education released new FERPA rules. The regulation gives greater deference to administrator discretion in disclosing information from education records when there is a threat to student health and safety. This means that an administrator is permitted to disclose personally identifiable information, without consent, from education records to appropriate parties, including parents, school and law enforcement offices, whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or others. If you believe there is a threat to a student’s health and/or safety, you should report it to your supervisor or designee.

A letter of reference written on behalf of a student by a teacher, supervisor, or other person does NOT provide that person with the authorization to disclose educational records even if the letter welcomes telephone calls or other inquiries about the student. The Release of Information form (ROI) must be completed by the student prior to the disclosure of educational records or to discuss the student's performance information.

There is no guarantee of confidentiality with sending grades via email or the internet. The college could be held responsible if an unauthorized third party gained access, in any manner, to a student’s education record through any electronic transmission method. Only secure websites (e.g., Canvas, MyCBC) are approved by FERPA for accessing grade information.

  • Official transcripts of student academic records may be released only through Student Records.
  • In an emergency situation, a student may be reached through the Registrar or the Vice President of Student Services.
  • Any questions regarding FERPA guidelines should be directed to the Registrar.
Before receiving electronic access to student records within the Student Management System (SMS), you are required to complete the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) training. Your supervisor can contact the Registrar for further information.

Complaints Regarding FERPA Violations

You have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Columbia Basin College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Complaints of this nature should be sent to:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605


  • Phone:509-547-0511

  • Address:2600 N. 20th Ave., Pasco, WA 99301

Students walking around CBC's Pasco campus