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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 of the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar's Office written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar's Office will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights, may discuss their problems informally with the University Non-Discrimination and Compliance Officer. If the decision is in agreement with the students' requests, the appropriate records will be amended. If not, the students will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the records will not be amended, and they will be informed by the Non-Discrimination and Compliance Officer of their right to a formal hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally-identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is 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 (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.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605 concerning alleged failures by Western Carolina University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Western Carolina University hereby designates the following categories of student information as public or "Directory Information." Such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion.

Student name Dates of attendance
Local and home address Degrees
Telephone numbers Honors and awards received
Classification The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
Parent/guardian Electronic mail (E-mail) address
County Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
Major field of study Weight and height of members of athletic teams


Students may withhold directory information by notifying the Registrar in writing within five working days from the first day of classes for the fall term or by the first day of classes for subsequent terms.

Students are warned, however, prior to making a decision to withhold personally-identifiable data, that undesirable consequences frequently occur such as names of students on the Dean's List are not published, names are not listed in commencement bulletins, and requests from prospective employers are denied. Forms are available in the Registrar's Office (206 Killian Annex) and on the Registrar's Forms Page.

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