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Our school has moved to Trask Building: 169 Herrick Rd, Newton Centre, MA 02459. The new building hours will be, beginning Monday, Sept. 11th: Monday and Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday:8:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Closed on Weekends and Holidays.

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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?
What are education records?
What is personally identifiable information?
What is "directory information"?
Can students control disclosure of "directory information"?
To whose records does FERPA apply?
To what records does FERPA apply?
Do we always need prior consent before we release information from a student's education record?
Where can I get a copy of the law?
How is compliance monitored?
Whom should I contact at Andover Newton if I have questions about FERPA?


Q. What is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law that gives protection to student educational records and provides students with certain rights. These rights include the ability to 1) inspect and review their education records; 2) request an amendment to their record because of what they believe is inaccurate or misleading information; 3) block disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education record; and 4) file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by ANTS to comply with the requirements of the law. FERPA also authorizes the release of "directory information" without a student's prior consent, under certain conditions that are set forth in the act.

Andover Newton Theological School strives to comply fully with FERPA by protecting the privacy of student records and judiciously evaluating requests to release information from those records. Furthermore, in accordance with the act, Andover Newton has specifically defined "directory information" and annually notifies students of their rights in the online Andover Newton FERPA Policy page and in hard-copy format at registration.

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Q. What are education records?

An education record is any record from which a student can be personally identified and which is maintained by Andover Newton Theological School. An Andover Newton student has the right to access those records.

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Q. What is personally identifiable information?

A. Personally identifiable information includes but is not limited to the student's name; the student’s address; a personal identifier, such as the student's social security number or Andover Newton ID number; or other information that would make the student's identity easily traceable.

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Q. What is "directory information"?

A. "Directory information" is information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. At Andover Newton Theological School, "directory information" includes the following: name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, enrollment status, degree, dates of enrollment, anticipated or actual date of graduation, prior degrees, denomination, and photograph.

Note: "Directory information" is information that the school may disclose, but it is not required to do so. All other (non-directory) information contained in a student's record (e.g., grades, social security numbers, academic actions, etc.) is strictly confidential and is not disclosed without the student's consent in writing.

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Q. Can students control disclosure of "directory information"?

A. Yes, students are notified of their right to control the disclosure of this information in the Andover Newton School Catalogue and at registration. Students may request that a FERPA block be applied in order to prevent the disclosure of their directory information. To request a FERPA block, go to the Registrar’s Office to fill out and sign a form for that purpose. You can remove a FERPA block through the same process. The registrar will keep completed request forms on record.

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Q. To whose records does FERPA apply?

A. FERPA applies to the education records of persons who are or have been in attendance at Andover Newton Theological School.

Note: FERPA applies to ALL persons who have been in attendance at Andover Newton, including, but not limited to, degree candidates, non-degree students, and persons who have enrolled in any of the Andover Newton institutes and programs, even if no course credit has been awarded.

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Q. To what records does FERPA apply?

A. FERPA applies to all educational records, in whatever medium, that are maintained by Andover Newton Theological School or by a party acting for the school.

Note: Educational records are not limited to those records and data stored or maintained by the Registrar’s Office; information that is directly related to a student and maintained by a particular office, faculty advisor, instructor, or any other academic or administrative unit at the school is considered to be part of the student's educational record.

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Q. Is prior consent always necessary before information can be released from a student's education record?

A. The registrar does not need prior consent to release or confirm directory information from a student's education record unless the student has placed a FERPA block on such information. In addition, it does not need prior consent under certain other conditions stated in FERPA, such as by court order or subpoena. However, it is Andover Newton’s policy that information from a student's education record be released only by the Registrar's Office and within constraints.

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Q. Where can I get a copy of the law?

A. A full text of the law is available at the following web site: http://www.aacrao.org/resources/compliance/ferpa

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Q. How is compliance monitored?

A. The Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) of the U.S. Department of Education monitors schools for compliance. Students have the right to file complaints with the FPCO alleging failure by Andover Newton Theological School to comply with the requirements of the act. Failure to comply may result in a loss of federal funding for financial aid and educational grants and/or civil litigation.

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Q. Whom should I contact at Andover Newton if I have questions about FERPA?

A. Nayda Aguila, Registrar, ext. 2435, naguila@ants.edu or Nancy Nienhuis, Dean of Campus Life, ext. 2455, nnienhuis@ants.edu.

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