Access to Records

A. Release of Records

The College will not permit access to or the release of educational records of a student, including grades and transcripts, other than directory information without the written consent of the student to any party except:

  1. College officials who have legitimate educational interest;
  2. authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the U.S., the Department of Education, or an administrative head of an education agency, in connection with an audit or evaluation of federally-supported educational programs;
  3. in connection with a student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid or scholarships or in connection with the continuation of such aid or scholarship;
  4. State or local officials or authorities to whom such information is specifically required to be reported (provided that statute was adopted prior to November 14, 1974);
  5. educational research organizations with the understanding that personally identifiable material may not be transmitted to a third party;
  6. educational accrediting agencies;
  7. in compliance with the provisions of the USA Patriot Act of 2001, under which the College is obligated to release educational records (pursuant to an ex parte order) to a representative of the U.S. Attorney General in connection with a terrorism investigation or prosecution. The College is not permitted under the USA Patriot Act of 2001 to place a disclosure notice in the student’s file in the case of this type of records release;
  8. in compliance with a civil judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. The College must comply with the order even if the student cannot be reached although every reasonable effort will be made to notify the student (except in the case of the USA Patriot Act of 2001);
  9. parents or guardians, as provided below.

B. Written Consent

Written consent by the student to release educational records to a third party must specify the records to be released and the recipient of such records. Request forms for the release of appropriate records will be made available in each office containing educational records.

C. Notification of Parents

Berea College recognizes the importance of support and interest of parents and families of students in all areas of the college program. Students are encouraged to share information about their experience and programs with their families. Normally, information regarding the status and progress of students 18 years of age and older is shared with parents by the College under the procedures to follow. Exceptions may be made in unusual circumstances upon request of the student and approval of the Director of Student Academic Records and Accounts for academic information and the Vice President for Labor and Student Life for other information. The College supports and follows the provisions of FERPA, which protects students from indiscriminate use of student records. FERPA permits, but does not require, provision of billing information to parents of financially-dependent students (for financial aid purposes, whether a student is “financially independent” or “dependent” is determined by federal tax laws and financial aid regulations). The parents of a “financially dependent” student may make a written declaration that the student is currently a dependent pursuant to IRC Section 152 AND may request educational records.

  1. Letter of Notification —Parents, guardians, next-of-kin, or another person designated by the student will be sent a letter providing information about the academic calendar, including the dates for registration and confirmation and the dates grades are released to students via the College’s secure Web site, along with a summary of how grades are defined by the College. Students are encouraged to discuss their courses, grades, and experiences at the College with their families. The College will honor requests by students that the letter of notification not be sent home. Requests are to be made in writing to the Student Service Center (CPO 2168, Berea College, Berea, KY 40404) no later than the end of the registration period.
  2. Emergencies —Parents, guardians, or other persons indicated in the appropriate student records will be notified in cases of emergency. (See Emergency Contact Information.) The Office of Labor and Student Life, in conjunction with the Student Life Team Member, shall determine whether an emergency exists.