FERPA at Saint Louis University

FERPA — or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 — is a federal law giving certain rights to parents and students regarding education records at schools of every level — including Saint Louis University — receiving funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

It should be noted that at the university level, the rights afforded by FERPA belong, in general, to the student rather than the parent.

These rights are as follows: 

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes to be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights.
  3. The right to consent to disclose personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA and the regulations authorize disclosure without consent.
  4. The right to file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the requirements of FERPA and the regulations.

Copies of Saint Louis University's student records policy are available from the Office of the University Registrar.

Right to Inspect and Review

Students may inspect and review their education records upon request to the appropriate office. Regulations define "education records" as, subject to a few exceptions, records that are directly related to a student and maintained by an educational institution or by a party acting for the institution.

A student should submit to the appropriate office a written request that identifies, as precisely as possible, the record or records he or she wishes to inspect.

The office will make the needed arrangements for access as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Students will receive access within a reasonable time (no more than 45 days from the receipt of the request).

If a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only that part of the record that relates to him or her.

SLU reserves the right to refuse inspection of the following records:

  1. Financial records of the student's parents
  2. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation that the student has waived his or her right of inspection and review
  3. Records connected with an application to attend the university or a component unit of the university if that application was denied
  4. Those records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records

The University reserves the right to deny copies of transcripts or records (but not access to the record) in any of the following situations:

  1. The student lives within commuting distance of the university
  2. The student has an unpaid financial obligation to the university
  3. The student has failed to comply with disciplinary sanctions

Right to Seek Amendment

If a student believes their education records contains information that is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student's privacy rights, he or she may ask SLU to amend the record.

Students should submit to the appropriate office a written request for amendment of the record, identifying the part of the record to be changed and specifying why it is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of their privacy rights.

SLU will decide whether to amend the record as requested within a reasonable time after receiving the request. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested, the student will be informed in writing of the decision and of his or her right to a hearing.

If the student requests a hearing, the university will hold it within a reasonable time after receiving the request and provide the student with reasonable advance notice of the date, time and place. The student will receive a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues. They may, at their own expense, be assisted or represented by one or more individuals of their own choice, including an attorney.

The university will make its decision in writing within a reasonable period of time after the hearing. The decision must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing and must include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision.

If the university decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of the student, it will amend the record accordingly and inform the student of the amendment in writing.

If the university decides that the information is not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of the student, it will inform the student of the right to place a statement in the record commenting on the contested information and stating why he or she disagrees with the decision of the university. SLU will maintain the statement with the contested part of the record for as long as the record is maintained and disclose the statement whenever it discloses the portion of the record to which the statement relates.

Right to Consent to Disclose

There are situations wherein Saint Louis University retains the right to disclose personally identifiable information from a student's educational record without the prior written consent of the student. These exceptions include:

  1. To comply with a federal grand jury subpoena or any subpoena issued for a law enforcement purpose, in which case the court or other issuing agency orders, for good cause shown, that the existence or contents of the subpoena or any information furnished in response to the subpoena not be disclosed.
  2. To parents or legal guardians of students under 21 regarding a disciplinary violation involving a university rule or policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
  3. To school officials within the university who the university has determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the records. A school official, in most cases, will have a legitimate educational interest if the official is carrying out the duties or responsibilities of his or her position. The definition of a school official includes but is not necessarily limited to:
      1. A person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position.
      2. A person employed by or under contract to the university to perform a special task.
      3. A person serving on the Board of Trustees.
      4. A student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her task.
  4. To school officials of another university where the student seeks or intends to enroll, subject to certain conditions outlined in the regulations.
  5. To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with state or federally supported education programs.
  6. In connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, and to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  7. If required by a state law requiring disclosure that was adopted before Nov. 19, 1974.
  8. To organizations conducting very specific kinds of studies for or on behalf of the university, as defined by the regulations.
  9. To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
  10. To parents of a student who claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes (verified by university financial aid records or by receiving a copy of the pertinent portions of the parents' most recent income tax return, and only after prior notice to the student).
  11. To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena (only if the university makes a reasonable effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance).
  12. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
  13. If the information has been designated as directory information by the university.
  14. The final results of any disciplinary proceeding against a student who is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence, if it is determined that the student committed a violation of the institution's rules or policies with respect to that crime. The final results of any disciplinary proceeding shall include only the name of the student, the violation committed and any sanctions. In cases involving alleged sexual assault, both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of any student conduct proceedings.
  15. In accordance with the requirements of FERPA, the university annually will give public notice to students via email of the types of personally identifiable information that the university has designated as directory information. The university will give the student the opportunity to refuse to let the university designate these types of information about him or her as directory information. Copies of forms to request non-disclosure of directory information are available in the registrar's office.
  16. Saint Louis University has designated the following as directory information:
    • Name
    • Home and campus mailbox address
    • Home and school telephone numbers
    • Email address
    • Major and field of study
    • Classification
    • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
    • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
    • Dates of attendance
    • Degrees and awards received (including Dean's List)
    • The most recent previous educational institution attended

What constitutes 'legitimate educational interest'?

  • Curiosity is not a legitimate educational interest. Just because you have access to student information and are able to view the record of your neighbor's son, does not mean that you have a legitimate educational interest in his grades and cumulative GPA.
  • Simply the fact that you are a university employee does not constitute legitimate educational interest. Your need to know must be related to your job responsibilities in support of the university's educational mission.
  • Your legitimate educational interest is limited. While you may have a need to access education records for students in your college, you do not necessarily have a similar need to view records of students outside your college.

The University maintains a record of all requests for or disclosure of information from a student's educational records. The record will indicate the name of the party making the request, any additional party to whom it may be re-disclosed and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. The record may be reviewed by the student.

Right to File a Complaint

Students have a right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they believe that Saint Louis University has failed to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The complaint should be in writing and contain specific allegations of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation of FERPA has occurred. The complaint should be sent to:

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

Whom to Contact

The following is a list of the types of records that the university maintains, their locations and their custodians.

Admissions Records

Office of Admission
DuBourg Hall, Room 119
One Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Law School Admissions Director of Admissions
100 N. Tucker Blvd., Suite 986
St. Louis, MO 63101-1930

School of Medicine Admissions Associate Dean of Admissions
Medical School, Room 226
1402 S. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63104

School of Business Associate Dean's Office
Graduate and Professional Administration-Graduate Records
Davis Shaughnessy, Room 7
3674 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

Official Transcripts

All programs with the exception of medical:

Office of the University Registrar
DuBourg Hall, Room 22
One Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Medical School Office of Curricular Affairs
Learning Resource Center, Room 101
3544 Caroline Mall
St. Louis, MO 63104

Alumni Records

Alumni Records Director of Alumni
DuBourg Hall, Room 307 Records
One Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Student Account Records
Office of Student Financial Services
DuBourg Hall, Room 121
One Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Financial Aid Records

Office of Student Financial Services
DuBourg Hall, Room 121
One Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Placement Office Records

Career Development Director
Placement Services
Busch Student Center, Room 331
20 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

Law School Career Planning and Placement Director
Law School
Scott Hall, Room 832
100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101

Miscellaneous Academic Records 

Doisy College of Health Sciences Dean
Allied Health Building, Room 3113
3437 Caroline Mall
St. Louis, MO 63104

College of Arts and Sciences Dean
Verhaegen Hall, Room 102
3634 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

John Cook School of Business Dean
Davis Shaughnessy Hall, Room 200
3674 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

School of Law Dean
Scott Hall, Room 832
100 Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101

School of Medicine Office of Curricular Affairs
Learning Resource Center, Room 101
3544 Caroline Mall
St. Louis, MO 63104

School of Nursing Dean
School of Nursing, Room 226
3525 Caroline
St. Louis, MO 63104

Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology Dean
McDonnell Douglas Hall, Room 1002E
3750 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103

College of Philosophy and Letters Dean
Humanities Building, Room 114
3800 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

School for Professional Studies Dean
Brouster Hall
3840 Lindell Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63108

School for Public Health and Social Justice Dean
Salus Center, Room 300
3545 Lafayette Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63104

School of Education Dean
Fitzgerald Hall, Room 130
3500 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

Disciplinary Records

Non-Academic disciplinary records

Student Conduct Records
Office of Student Conduct
Busch Student Center 313
20 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Academic disciplinary records

Doisy College of Health Sciences Dean
Allied Health Building, Room 3113
3437 Caroline Mall
St. Louis, MO 63104

College of Arts and Sciences Dean
Verhaegen Hall, Room 102
3634 Lindell Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63108

School of Business and Administration Dean
Davis Shaughnessy Hall, Room 200
3674 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

School of Law Dean
Scott Hall, Room 832
100 Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101

School of Medicine Office of Curricular Affairs
Learning Resource Center, Room 101
3544 Caroline Mall
St. Louis, MO 63104

School of Nursing Dean
School of Nursing, Room 226
3525 Caroline Mall
St. Louis, MO 63104

Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology Dean
McDonnell Douglas Hall, Room 1002E
3750 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103

College of Philosophy and Letters Dean
Humanities Building, Room 114
3800 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

School for Professional Studies Dean
Brouster Hall
3840 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103

School for Public Health and Social Justice Dean
Salus Center, Room 300
3545 Lafayette Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63104

School of Education Dean
Fitzgerald Hall, Room 130
3500 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108