Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Access to Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (PL93-380), commonly referred to as FERPA, provides that all records pertaining to a student that are maintained by the college must be open to inspection by the student and may not be made available to any other person without the written authorization of the student. 

Directory information

The release of information to the public without student consent will be limited to that designated as directory information. ACC has designated the following information as directory information:

  • Name, address, telephone number
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • ACC Email Address
  • Participation in activities
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees, certificates, and awards
  • Name of the previous educational institution attended
  • Student classification and enrollment status

Access to directory information

Directory information is considered public record under the Texas Public Information Act and must be released to requestors unless you have submitted a written request to the Admissions and Enrollment Office to make your directory information private.

To withhold your information, submit the Request to Withhold Directory Information form to the Admissions and Enrollment Office within the first 12 days of the semester. Open Records requests made by members of the public can be filled starting after the 12th day. Any requests for directory information that are received after ACC has received and processed your Request to Withold Directory Information form will not include your information. Your request remains in effect until revoked by you in writing.

Your rights under FERPA

You have the right to inspect and review your student records maintained by the college. The college is not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for eligible students to review the records. You may be charged a fee for copies.

You have the right to request that a school correct records that you believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If ACC decides not to amend the record, you have the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the college still decides not to amend the record, you have the right to place a statement with the record setting forth your view about the contested information.

Generally, the college must have written permission from you in order to release any information from your student record. However, FERPA allows the college to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest*
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
  • Accrediting organizations
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law

*A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, faculty or research, clerical, professional or support staff position (including campus law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing a task. A school official also may include a volunteer, a person, or entity outside of Austin Community College with whom the College has contracted to perform an institutional service or function for which College would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of ACC with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from education records, such as, but not limited to, an attorney, auditor, or collection agent. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to access and view an education record or any information within it in order to fulfill the official’s professional responsibility, including learning and performing appropriate tasks that are specified in his or her position description or by a contract agreement.

Parent rights under FERPA

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s student records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.