FERPA Hearing and Appeal Procedures
Requirements for a Hearing Under FERPA
The hearing required by § 99.21 must meet, at a minimum, the following requirements:
(a) The educational agency or institution shall hold the hearing within a reasonable time after it has received the request for the hearing from the parent or eligible student.
(b) The educational agency or institution shall give the parent or eligible student notice of the date, time, and place, reasonably in advance of the hearing.
(c) The hearing may be conducted by any individual, including an official of the educational agency or institution, who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing.
(d) The educational agency or institution shall give the parent or eligible student a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised under § 99.21. The parent or eligible student may, at their own expense, be assisted or represented by one or more individuals of his or her own choice, including an attorney.
(e) The educational agency or institution shall make its decision in writing within a reasonable period of time after the hearing.
(f) The decision must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, and must include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision.
Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(2)
Amendment of Student Education Records
Iowa State University will consider the formal request of a student to amend information in their education record which they believe to be inaccurate, misleading, or a violation of their rights. "Amendment" may include, but is not limited to, deletion or correction of information in the record, or the addition of a statement commenting on the information in the student’s education record.
Formal requests for amendments to education records should be made in writing to the University Registrar (or their designee) in the Office of the Registrar. The Office of the Registrar will forward the request for amendment to the appropriate office and/or university official who serves as the custodian of the record for consideration and decision. A decision by the office and/or university official will be reached within a reasonable time, and the resultant decision will be communicated with the student in writing with a copy to the University Registrar. If the custodian of the record decides not to amend the student’s education record as requested, the decision letter will advise the student of their right to a hearing, as outlined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and it will direct them to the university’s FERPA hearing procedures and appeal process, which are outlined below.
Hearing Procedures and Appeal Process
- A student may file a request for a hearing in writing to the University Registrar (or their designee). A hearing will take place before a Hearing Officer, who is appointed by the Senior Vice President and Provost (or their designee). The Hearing Officer will be a university official who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. The hearing will take place within a reasonable time after the request for appeal has been received from the student, and the Hearing Officer will provide the student with the date, time, and place of the hearing. During the hearing, the student may present relevant evidence. The student may also be assisted, or represented by, one or more persons of their choice, at their own expense, including an attorney. The decision of the Hearing Officer will be made in writing within a reasonable period of time after the hearing. The decision must be based solely upon the available evidence and any additional information presented at the hearing, and it must include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision. If the Hearing Officer upholds the decision rendered by the custodian of the record, the decision letter will advise the student of their right to appeal the decision, and it will direct them to the next step of the university’s hearing procedures, which are outlined below.
- An appeal of the Hearing Officer’s decision may be appealed in writing to the University President within 10 calendar days following issuance of the Hearing Officer’s decision. The appeal should include a statement of reasons for the appeal, with references to the evidence that supports the appeal.
- An appeal of the University President's decision may be made by the student in writing to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; the appeal will be considered at their discretion.
- After a final dispoistion by the Hearing Officer, or the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the student may place in their record a statement commenting upon the information in the education record and setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision. The statement will be maintained as part of the student’s educational record for as long as the record at issue is maintained, and the record, when disclosed to an authorized party, must including the statement(s) of the student.