Student Privacy Rights (FERPA)
When you enroll at HCC, you become responsible for all actions taken on your student record. All changes to your student record must be done by you via your HCC email or in writing, and not by your parents, or spouse, etc. Never share your username or passwords to college-assigned accounts. This ensures that your online identity remains both protected and authenticated.
Ensure Your Record is Accurate
You are required to notify the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans' Affairs in writing of record changes involving your name, social security number, address, telephone numbers, and external email addresses, even after you leave HCC. The best way to do that is to submit a Change of Information form to RRVA via email, fax, mail or in-person. If you have a concern about the accuracy of your student records, and you’re unsure how to proceed, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll help you navigate the appropriate process.
Provide or Restrict Access to Your Student Record
Do you want to provide ongoing access for a parent, spouse, or other third party to review your student record information?
To do that, you need to visit the Office of Records, Registration, and Veterans' Affairs (RRVA) in person with your photo ID. Ask for the Student Information Release Authorization form. By filling out this form, you will provide the people you designate with the ability to request information from your student record. Please understand that this permission doesn’t include the ability to register you, or complete forms on your behalf. As the HCC student, you will continue to be responsible for initiating all changes to your student record.
Do you want to ensure that HCC doesn’t release your information?
If you’re concerned about safeguarding your student record information, you can request, in writing, that HCC excludes the release of your directory information. Your request will be in place until you notify RRVA in writing that you wish to rescind your request. What this means for you:
- It is difficult to authenticate a student on the phone without discussing directory information; you may find that the majority of your contact with HCC faculty and staff will need to be in person with photo identification or via your official HCC email.
- You will not be excluded from reporting to the National Student Clearinghouse or the National Student Loan Data System due to federal reporting requirements. However, when we do send information to them, it will be done so with the privacy flag. These two reporting entities recognize that this is required by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (1974) and will also maintain that confidentiality.
FERPA Frequently Asked Questions
Why can’t my parents conduct college business without me? They pay the bill!
If you are 18 or have attended at least one class at HCC, your education records are protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act [FERPA], regardless of who pays the bill. Now that you’re enrolled at HCC, you are expected to complete registration, payment arrangements, etc. on your own.
Can my parents access myHCC to pay my bill?
HCC does not currently provide third party access to myHCC. You are strongly advised not to share your log-in information with anyone, as you are held responsible for all actions taken through myHCC.
You could log-on to myHCC with your parents or spouse, since they may wish to view your current account balance and help you sign up for a payment plan. Your parents may also wish to have a copy of your grades and current class schedule, which you can print from myHCC.
Can my parents request a letter certifying that I am enrolled as a full-time student at HCC?
Often your parents or spouse need a letter of certification about your enrollment to provide an employer for tuition benefits or insurance companies to continue coverage and/or receive a discounted rate. RRVA processes these requests each day; request an enrollment verification to get this process started!
Can I permanently block access to my student record?
Yes, you can place additional safeguards on your student record information. See the menu item above to restrict access to your student record.
Annual Notice of Student Privacy Rights & Directory Information
Annual Notice of Student Privacy Rights & Directory Information
Howard Community College [HCC] complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 [FERPA] and its amendments. All institutions that receive money from the U.S. Department of Education must follow FERPA guidelines.
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.) As an eligible student, your rights include:
The right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days after the day HCC receives a request for access. Submit to RRVA a written request that identifies the record(s) you wish to inspect. The appropriate HCC official will make arrangements for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
The right to request the amendment of your education records that you believe inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask HCC to amend a record should write HCC official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record you want changed, and specify why it should be changed. If HCC decides not to amend the record as requested, HCC will notify you in writing of the decision and your right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to you when notified of the right to a hearing.
The right to provide written consent before HCC discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. HCC discloses education records without a student's prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to HCC officials with legitimate educational interest. An official is a person employed by HCC as full-time or adjunct faculty or as administrative, professional/technical, support, or hourly staff; a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee. A HCC official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of HCC who performs an institutional service or function for which HCC would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of HCC with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent, student or volunteer who is assisting another HCC official in performing his or her tasks. A HCC 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 HCC.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by HCC 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
See 50.05- Confidentiality of Student Records for a full list of disclosures that HCC may also make without your consent, including:
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding.
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines you are an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and you have committed a violation of the school's rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against you.
- To your parents regarding your violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if HCC determines that you committed a disciplinary violation and you are under the age of 21.
Directory Information Public Notice
Directory information has been designated by HCC to include the following information, which would not be generally considered harmful to you, the student, or an invasion of privacy, if disclosed:
HCC identifies the following items as directory information: students’ names, photographs, high school attended, areas of study, enrollment dates, degrees, honors and awards, participation in officially recognized college activities or sports, and athletes’ weight and height.
Students have the right to withhold directory information by submitting a written request to RRVA. The college honors such requests until the student requests in writing that it be removed within the refund period of the term. If withholding is not requested, HCC assumes approval for disclosure.A paper copy of this notification is available upon request in RRVA.