Skip to main content

Student Privacy/ FERPA

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Also referred to as the Buckley Amendment, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords enrolled students certain rights regarding their educational records.

Rights under FERPA

Each student enrolled at Bethel University holds the following rights:

The right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access:

  • Written requests must be submitted to the University Registrar and clearly identify which records the student wishes to inspect.
  • The University Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  • If the University Registrar does not maintain the records, the student will be directed to the university official to whom the request should be addressed.

The right to request the amendment of any part of their education records that a student believes is inaccurate or misleading:

  • Written requests must be submitted to the University Official responsible for the record.
  • The request must clearly identify the part of the record the student wishes to amend and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
  • If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the student will be notified and advised on his/her right to a hearing.

The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information:

  • The student can refuse to disclose or intentionally disclose any personal information contained in the student’s education records to third parties.
  • A list of exceptions to this right may be found below.

Exceptions to the Right of Disclosure

Under FERPA, Bethel University may disclose educational records without the student's consent only within the following situational exceptions:

To school officials with legitimate educational interests.

  • A “school official” is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including University law enforcement personnel and health staff); contractors, consultants, and other outside service providers with whom the University has contracted; a member of the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official University committee.
  • 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 responsibility.

To parents/guardians if the student is a dependent for tax purposes.

To appropriate individuals (e.g., parents/guardians, spouses, housing staff, health care personnel, police, etc.) where disclosure is in connection with a health or safety emergency and knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

To parents/guardians regarding the student violating laws (federal, state, or local) or Bethel University's policies on use/possession of alcohol or controlled substances.

  • This applies only if the student is under the age of twenty-one at the time of the disclosure to parents/guardians, and the violation regarded the use/possession of alcohol or controlled substances.

Information Collection & Use

Bethel University collects personally identifiable information when users submit forms such as applications, financial transactions, or requests for information through this website.

This information includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Social Security number
  • Birthdate
  • Bank account information
  • Credit card information
  • Any other combination of information that could be used for identification purposes.
This information is used for the following:
  • To fulfill users' requests.
  • To support the administrative requirements respective to each transaction.

Information collected on the Bethel University website will not be sold or publicly distributed. Bethel University complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations.

If you have any questions about the Website Privacy Policy, contact the Office of Compliance at (731) 352-4046.

Directory Information

FERPA allows Bethel University to designate certain student information as “directory information.” Directory information, found below, may be made available to any person without the student’s consent unless the student gives notice.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Student ID photos
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • School of study
  • Classification
  • Participation in officially recognized activities/sports
  • Weights and heights of members of athletic teams
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees and Awards received
  • Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended
  • Other similar information


To constrict disclosure of Directory Information, refer to the following information:

  • Submit a written request to the University Registrar.
  • The request of nondisclosure will remain for the duration of enrollment, or until the student provides written consent.
  • To continue nondisclosure post-enrollment, a written request must be submitted to the University Registrar during the student's last term.
  • For those that constrict disclosure: none of the listed directory information will be released unless within a situation allowed by law.

If a student believes the University has failed to comply with FERPA, they may file a complaint using the Student Complaint and Grievance Procedure. If dissatisfied with the outcome of this procedure, students may file a written complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-8520.

Questions about the application of the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act should be directed to the University Registrar.