FERPA Student Right to Privacy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

(1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.


A student should submit to the university registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. 


A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

(3) The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.


The University discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); 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 his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University.

(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.


The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

 Family Policy Compliance Office 
 U.S. Department of Education 
 400 Maryland Avenue, SW 
 Washington, DC 20202-5901.



SNHU Directory Information

In compliance with FERPA, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) does not disclose personally identifiable information contained in student education records, except as authorized by law. SNHU may disclose appropriately designated Directory Information without a student’s consent, unless the student has advised SNHU to the contrary in accordance with established procedures.

SNHU has designated the following information as directory information:


  • Student’s name
  • Address(es)
  • Telephone listing(s)
  • Electronic mail address
  • Photograph(s)
  • Fields of study (major(s), minor(s), etc.)
  • Dates of attendance/Enrollment status
  • Anticipated program completion date
  • Class level
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • The most recent educational agency or institution attended


If you do not want SNHU to disclose directory information from your education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the University in writing. This may be done at any time by submitting an Authorization to Prevent or Resume Disclosure of Directory Information to the Office of the University Registrar by fax 603-629-4647 or by email to registrar@snhu.edu.

The primary purpose of Directory Information is to allow the University to confirm attendance to prospective employers and other third parties, and to include this type of information from your education records in certain University publications. Examples include: a playbill, showing your role in a drama production, the annual yearbook, Dean’s List, President’s List, recognition lists, Commencement Ceremony Program, and sports activity sheets/team rosters, showing weight and height of team members.

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. Disclosures of directory information will be limited to specific parties for specific purposes or both.

Updated: 9 February 2017 CM