Privacy of Student Records

Privacy of Student Records/FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An "eligible student" under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution at any age.) These rights include:

1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Office of Student Affairs a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Office of Student Affairs 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 Office of Student Affairs, the student will be advised 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 is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

A student who wishes to ask HGTC to amend a record should write the Office of Student Affairs, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.

3. The right to provide written consent before HGTC discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.  To authorize HGTC to disclose PII to an individual(s), the student must complete the Student Information Release Form located in the Registrar’s Office.

HGTC 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 typically includes a person employed by HGTC in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit 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. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of HGTC who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for HGTC.

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by HGTC 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

FERPA Notice for Directory Information:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC), with certain exceptions, obtain written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the student’s education records.  However, Horry-Georgetown Technical College may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless the student has advised HGTC to the contrary in accordance with HGTC procedures.  The primary purpose of directory information is to allow HGTC to include information from the student’s education records in certain school publications.  Examples may include:

  • Honor roll or other recognition lists; and
  • Graduation programs.

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.  In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless students have advised the LEA that they do not want their information disclosed without their prior written consent.

If the student does not want HGTC to disclose any or all of the types of information designated below as directory information from their education records without their prior written consent, they must notify HGTC by updating their Confidentiality Preferences within WaveNet or in writing to the Registrar’s Office.  Horry-Georgetown Technical College has designated the following information as directory information:

  • Student's name
  • Permanent Address
  • Official college email address
  • Home telephone
  • Program of study
  • Enrollment status (e.g., full-time, part-time withdrawn)
  • Dates of attendance
  • Graduation status
  • Names of honors awarded (eg., Latin honors, dean’s list, president’s list)
  • Previous educational agencies or institutions attended
  • Participation in officially recognized activities