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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.  In accordance with regulations issued under FERPA, the College of Charleston provides an annual notification to our enrolled students of their rights (to: inspect, review and, if necessary, seek to amend the student's education record; consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records; opt out from the release of information designated as directory information by the College; and file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education) under FERPA; as well as an explanation of the exceptions under FERPA that allow the College to disclose information from the student's education record without consent.

Directory Information

FERPA requires the College of Charleston to designate which information about students will be considered directory information.  Directory information may be released without consent.  The College has designated the following information as directory information that may be released to third parties upon their request:

  • Student Name
  • Mailing address
  • College-issued e-mail address
  • Image/photograph of student (includes images from college yearbooks, CofC publications and other official CofC marketing media only)
  • Major field(s) of study
  • Class standing/Grade level (e.g. sophomore, junior, etc.)
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degree(s) received
  • Awards and honors received
  • Enrollment status (e.g. undergraduate, graduate, full-time or part-time)

Students who do not wish the College to disclose directory information from their education records without prior written consent must submit to the Office of the Registrar a request to have this information withheld.  This request can be made via Banner Self-Service in MyCharleston (Banner Self-Service > Student > Release of Directory Information) or by completing an opt-out form.  This request must be received by the Office of the Registrar on or before the tenth day of class for the fall and spring semesters and the fifth day of class for the summer terms in order for it to be applicable for that and subsequent semesters.

Students should consider very carefully the effect of a decision to withhold directory information. If that decision is made, any requests for such information from non-College persons or organizations will be refused (subject to the exceptions stated in the FERPA Annual Notification and on the Registrar’s FERPA website) unless the student has subsequently removed the hold via Banner Self-Service or by filling out the rescission section of the Opt-Out form that is in your file in the Registrar’s Office. If a student does not specifically request the withholding of directory information, as indicated above, the College assumes that he or she approves of the disclosure of such information. The College disclaims any and all liability for inadvertent disclosure of directory information designated to be withheld.

Upon receipt (prior to the tenth day of class in the fall and spring semesters and the fifth day of class in a summer term), your request to withhold directory information will remain in effect until such time as you tell us, by filing the rescission, that you no longer wish to keep your information private. If directory information is released prior to receiving your opt-out request (by the fifth day of class), the College may not be able to stop the use of your information.

Please note that when you graduate your name will appear in the College of Charleston Commencement Program even if you have requested the withholding of Directory Information.  If you wish to exclude your name on the Commencement Program, you must provide your signed, written request to the Registrar’s Office no later than October 1st for the December Commencement and March 1st for the May Commencement.

Non-Directory Information

Disclosure of a student's confidential education records requires prior written consent of the student (unless disclosure is permitted under certain exceptions to FERPA set forth in Section 99.31 of the FERPA Regulations). A student's written consent may be obtained by using the Consent Form (PDF).

Use the Consent Form when a department or unit on campus requests disclosure of a student's education records or when a student requests disclosure of their education records to a specified third party.

The form can be signed by the student to authorize a one-time release or it can be signed to allow a standing order for release until official revocation in the department where the Consent Form was filed. The student indicates on the form the exact records which can be released by which office and to whom they may be released. (NOTE: Only the form which is on file can be used for the release of information and not a copy of a form brought in by a third party.)

If the student wishes to release their records from more than one Office (e.g., the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Student Affairs) then a separate form will need to be presented by the student and kept on file in each Office.

After the student has completed and submitted the Consent Form to the appropriate Office, the approved third party must submit a written request specifically indicating which item in the record is to be viewed.

The College assumes a standing order is to be honored until the student revokes it. If a standing order for release is given, it is the student’s responsibility to revoke that order at the time the student no longer wishes to release his or her records to the third party(ies) noted.

FERPA and Parents/Guardians

When a student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, all rights afforded to a parent/guardian under FERPA transfer to the student.  This means that all academic information regarding the student goes directly to the student unless the student has provided written permission to release the information to a specified party (see Consent Form below). 

The College of Charleston may, at its sole discretion, disclose education record information to parents/guardians, without the written consent of the eligible student, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes under IRS rules (as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).  The parent(s)/guardian(s) must complete the Parent Verification of Student Dependency and Request for Educational Record Information form and provide the appropriate Federal Income Tax Return documentation. 

Solomon Amendment and FERPA

Solomon Amendment is a federal law that allows military recruiters to access some address, biographical and academic program information on students age 17 and older.

The Department of Education has determined the Solomon Amendment supersedes most elements of FERPA. An institution is therefore obligated to release data included in the list of “student recruiting infor­mation,” which may or may not match the College of Charleston's FERPA directory information list. However, if the student has submitted a request (electronically via Banner Self-Service or by completing an opt-out form) to the Office of the Registrar to restrict the release of Directory Information, then no information from the student's education record will be released under the Solomon Amendment.

Information Designated by the Solomon Amendment as Student Recruitment Information:

  • Name 
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Age 
  • Major 
  • Class Level (e.g. Freshman, Sophomore, etc.) 
  • Degree awarded

Under the Solomon amendment, Student Recruitment Information will be released for military recruitment purposes only. Military recruiters may request Student Recruitment Information once each term or semester for each of the 12 eligible units within the five branches of the service:

  • Army: Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard
  • Navy: Navy, Navy Reserve
  • Marine Corps: Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserve
  • Air Force: Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air Force National Guard
  • Coast Guard: Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserve


Forms must be completed in black or blue ink and may not contain any marked out data.  These forms may not be faxed or emailed.  If you have any questions regarding these forms or required procedures, please contact the Office of the Registrar.


Please contact the Office of the Registrar at 843.953.5668.