FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) protects the privacy of a student's educational record or those records that are directly related to the student and maintained by the institution.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.  The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. Student educational records are considered confidential and cannot be released without the written consent of the student. This law also gives students the right to consent to the disclosure of educational records, the right to inspect and review educational records, and the right to seek the amendment to educational records that the student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's privacy rights.

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 College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registration and Records Office a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College 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 College 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 an amendment of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate. Students should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her 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 consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. In order to consent to disclosure, including to parents, students must contact the Registration and Records Office to complete the FERPA release form.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College 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 Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920

HCC is not permitted to release information, other than directory information, to another party. In order for information to be disclosed, such as grades, financial aid information, tuition balances, etc., HCC must have a signed Disclosure of Information Release form. This release does not authorize anyone other than the student to conduct college business, such as requesting transcripts, registering or dropping classes, etc.

HCC's directory information includes: Student name, program of study, dates of enrollment, full-time/part-time status, degrees/certificates awarded, photographs, academic honors and awards, and participation in officially recognized activities and sports at the college.