Student Records and Confidential Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and its accompanying regulations establishes the rights of students, including rights pertaining to their educational records.

All information received by the College becomes a part of the student's education record except for information from a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional. Student education records are classified as follows:

  1. Directory Information-Name, address, telephone number; date and place of birth; program in which enrolled; participation in officially recognized institutional or extracurricular activities; dates of enrollment; certificates and degrees received; most recent educational institution or agency attended. Directory information may be released by the College to any person or organization without the student's consent. If a student does not want directory information released, a form must be filed with the Admissions and Records office each term.
  2. Confidential Information-All information other than directory information is considered confidential. Examples of confidential items include class schedule, daily attendance, academic record, grade reports, progress reports, high school and college transcripts, and test results; correspondence, including letters of recommendation and comments from counselors and faculty; and application information for financial aid, Illinois Veterans' Scholarship, and G.I. Bill benefits.

Access to Confidential Information By Students

Students may have access to the confidential information in their own records by submitting a written request to the Student Success Center or Registrar, subject to exceptions under the law. The College will comply with the request within 45 days.

On request, the College will provide students with a list of the types of education records kept, including directory and confidential information.

Richland will provide copies of education records to students at the students' expense and will respond to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of their records. Copies of transcripts from high schools or other colleges that are on file cannot be provided. Students also have the right to a hearing to challenge any portion of their education records. Requests for a hearing should be directed to the Vice President of Student and Academic Services.

Access to Confidential Information By Others

Confidential information contained in a student's records will not be released to other parties without the student's consent. Exceptions are listed, and information is given only with the understanding that such information may not be passed on to a third party without the student's written consent.

The College will maintain a record of all persons other than College personnel who have obtained access to a student's records. The College record will include the legitimate reason that the outside party has for reviewing the student's education record.

Persons and agencies who may review students' records are

  1. College personnel having a legitimate need for information as a result of their College duties;
  2. Colleges, universities, and other academic institutions at which the student wishes to enroll;
  3. Agencies and their representatives requesting financial aid information in connection with a student's application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
  4. State and local officials to whom the College must release information as required by a state statute or administrative regulation adopted before November 19, 1974;
  5. State and federal officials auditing and evaluating federally-supported education programs or enforcing legal requirements related to these programs;
  6. Organizations conducting studies for the College, including the development, validation, or administration of predictive tests, administration of student aid programs, and improvement of instruction;
  7. Persons acting pursuant to a judicial order or subpoena, providing the College notifies the student before complying;
  8. Appropriate persons, if necessary, to protect the health or safety of the student or others; and
  9. Parents of an eligible student who is claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes.