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Privacy Rights

Gallaudet University follows the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Buckley Amendment) regarding student records. Under this act, all official student records are considered confidential. The act applies to records of anyone who is enrolled as a student or has in the past been enrolled as a student of Gallaudet University or Gallaudet College.

All University officers and personnel must observe the following policies:

  • Students have the right to inspect their own official records. Corrections or challenges to records may be presented by the student in writing to the office maintaining the record. Each office responsible for an official student record must have a policy for how and when students may read, copy, and, if necessary, challenge information in the record.  Upon receiving the student's signed request, the University (office responsible for that record) will provide an opportunity for the student record review within 45 days.
  • Gallaudet University personnel who need particular information in order to perform their assigned duties may have access* to these records.  (*Information and level of access is determined by the Registrar's Office.)
  • Disclosure of information contained in student records to other persons or agencies is prohibited, with the following exceptions.
    • Information from a student record will be released upon written request of the student.
    • Directory information (name, home address, local address, class, year, major, verification of enrollment) may be released to anyone upon request. Students who do not wish this information to be available may request in writing to have their names removed from the directory. Such requests should be made to the registrar.
    • The University must release official records upon subpoena or court order. The University will attempt to notify the student that the records are being released.
    • Auditors inspecting the operations of Gallaudet University offices may inspect student records.
    • Information from student records may be released to parents who financially support a student (under IRS regulations).  The disclosure is to the parents of a student who is a dependent for income tax purposes; must provide IRS Tax forms showing dependent student status per year student is active.
    • Information from student records may be released to individuals or organizations providing financial aid for a student, or evaluating a student's eligibility for financial aid.

Information Included and Excluded from Student Records

Only information directly related to the educational process is maintained in student records. Official student records do not include references to political or social beliefs and practices.   Students may list memberships in professional associations, honorary societies, or student activities as part of their student records. Memberships in other organizations not listed by the student will not be included in student records. Medical records, mental health records, and parents' financial statements are not subject to this law.

Such records are confidential and privileged and may not be reviewed or seen by anyone except as provided by applicable law of the District of Columbia and the federal government.

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