Privacy of Records

In the United States, the educational records of students in colleges and universities are protected by a federal privacy law called Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA applies to all students enrolled in higher education, including international students.

Under FERPA, the only person allowed access to a student's record is the student, and college employees who need the information to complete their work. Nobody else can access or be given information from a student's record, including the following:

    - Anyone in the student's family, even if they are paying the student's tuition
    - The student's agent(s)
    - The student's friends, roomate, etc.
    - The student's teacher(s)

Information protected under FERPA includes the following:

    - Student ID number, or Social Security Number
    - Class schedule
    - Grades
    - Disciplinary action
    - Immigration status and related information (out of status, transfer information, OPT, etc.)
    - Financial information related to the student's enrollment (fees, money owed, etc.)

FERPA does not cover some information, such as address, phone number, etc., but Seattle Central does restrict access to this information as well. Seattle Central will only release the following information on a student:

    - Student's name
    - Enrollment status in the college
    - Date(s) of enrollment
    - Area of study
    - Awards granted by the college
    - Participation in official sports activities
    - Email address

Please note that a student always has the right to prevent anyone from knowing even this basic information, if s/he chooses to protect it. Seattle Central suggests that parents make arrangements with their children to get quarterly grade reports, which are available from the student's account on our website. Parents can easily require these reports before they allow their child to continue studying in the United States.

Students may authorize Seattle Central to release educational information to a designated person by completing an Authorization to Release Information form. Students must complete the form in the International Education Programs (IEP) Office, and the form must be witnessed and signed by the International Education Programs staff. The form can only be submitted by the student, and not by parents, relatives, agents or other individuals.

Assisting Parents

If you are working with parents who would like access to their child's records, please help them understand FERPA and the procedure for giving Seattle Central authorization to release information to them or to you directly. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.