The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), often referred to as the “Buckley Amendment,” affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review their own educational records within 45 days of the day the University receives their request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect.
  2. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and the place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official should advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  3. The right to request that the University amend an educational record that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write to the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
  4. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of their 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.
  5. The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.


One exception that permits disclosures 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 their tasks.

A school officer has a legitimate interest if they need to review an education record in order to fulfill their professional responsibility.

“Directory information” may be disclosed without the student’s consent. “Directory information” includes the student’s name, class year, address, telephone listing, email address, date and place of birth, major and minor field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, photographs, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and any other similar information.

A student has the right to withhold the public release of any or all information directly pertaining to them by giving advance notice to the Office of the Dean of the College. Such advance notice must be received in the Office of the Dean of the College prior to the end of the drop/add period for each term.


Questions and Complaints

Any questions pertaining to Colgate University’s policy under the federal regulations protecting the privacy rights of students should be referred to the Office of the Registrar. Complaints regarding alleged violations by the University of rights protected by the federal statute and regulations may be submitted to: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Dept. of Education, 600 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.

The information contained in this publication applies to the academic years 2024–2025, but this handbook is not to be regarded as a contract between the student and the University. The University reserves the right to change requirements, policies, rules, and regulations without prior notice in accordance with established procedures.

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