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Appendix III: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

To comply with the requirements of the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974,” Texas A&M University periodically announces publicly the rules and procedures implementing the act. Additional information is available from the Texas A&M University Registrar's Office..

The different types of student records are maintained in various university offices, and the chief administrator in each of these offices is responsible for them.

Generally, with certain exceptions, the law provides that students and former students have the right to review their records, request explanations concerning them, obtain copies and challenge records that they feel are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate. The challenge procedure includes a full and fair opportunity for the student to present relevant evidence at a hearing. The law also provides that students may waive their right of access to confidential letters of recommendation and may also grant permission to release certain personally identifiable information to unauthorized personnel.

The exceptions to this law, i.e. records not accessible to students, include educational personnel records in the possession of the author; records maintained for law enforcement purposes; employment records of non-students; records maintained by a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist; and financial records of a student’s parents.

The law also provides that, in addition to university employees having a “legitimate educational interest,” certain other governmental and quasi-governmental agencies and parents certifying that a student is carried as a dependent for income tax purposes may have access to student records.

The university can release “directory information” such as name, address, telephone listing, major field of study, classification, place of birth, participation in activities and sports, height and weight of athletic team members, degrees and awards received, etc.; students may, however, request that this information be withheld.  The registrar's office maintains a complete list of the types of directory information the university can release.

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