Family Education Rights and Privacy (FERPA)

General Policy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides students who are enrolled in an institution of postsecondary education the right to inspect, review, and challenge their educational records. Colorado Mesa University has the responsibility of maintaining and protecting the confidentiality of students' official educational records. Colorado Mesa University also supervises the access to and/or release of educational records of its students. FERPA covers enrolled and former students, including deceased students. Students who are not accepted to Colorado Mesa University, or if accepted, do not attend, have no rights under FERPA.

No person shall have access to, nor will Colorado Mesa University disclose any personal identifiable information from, a student's records without the written consent of the student except:

  1. To school officials, including faculty, staff, and student workers, who have a legitimate educational or administrative interest in the records (i.e., performing appropriate task related to position, student's education, service, etc.).
  2. To other schools in which the student seeks to enroll.
  3. To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported educational programs.
  4. To military recruiters based on the Solomon Amendment.
  5. In connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  6. To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the University.
  7. If required by a state law requiring disclosure that was adopted before November 19, 1974.
  8. To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
  9. To comply with a federal judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena having jurisdiction over Colorado Mesa University (upon reasonable effort to notify the student of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance, unless ordered by subpoena not to do so).
  10. To parents of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependent (according to Internal Revenue Code of 1954, Section 152) for income tax purposes on their most current federal tax return.
  11. To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency (if necessary to protect the health and safety of students or other persons).
  12. After completion of the University disciplinary process, to parents of students under 21 years of age, and to certain victims of student misbehavior as defined by FERPA.
  13. To comply with federal and state regulations as allowed within FERPA regulations.  
  14. As it relates to Directory Information unless the student restricts Directory Information in writing.

Students may authorize another party to view or inquire about their student record by submitting an electronic form (e-form) through MAVzone. The e-form is located in MAVzone within the Student Academics tab.  Under “Personal Information” select the “Release of Information Authorization” link (right under the Confidential Indicator Selection link).

Release of Information Authorizations already in place will remain in place until revoked via the new electronic method. To revoke a previously authorized party, follow the directions above to the e-form and fill out the revoke access section.

Please contact the Registrar's Office at (970)248-1555 if you have any questions.

Colorado Mesa University may, without the consent of the student, release to persons outside the institution information designated as Directory Information in accordance with the provisions of FERPA. Directory Information shall include information in an educational record which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, including but not limited to:

  1. Student name, address, telephone number
  2. Date and place of birth
  3. Major fields of study
  4. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  5. Weight and height of athletic team members
  6. Photograph
  7. Dates of attendance to include enrollment status (i.e., full time or part time)
  8. Degrees and awards received
  9. Most recent educational institution attended
  10. E-mail address

At any time, a student may request that Directory Information not be released to other parties without written permission by submitting an electronic form (e-form) through MAVzone. The e-form is located within the Student Academics tab.  Under “Personal Information”, select the “Confidential Indicator Selection” link. The same steps are used to remove the confidential classification.

If the confidentiality indicator is selected, please be aware of the following restrictions.

  • The student may not complete any transactions over the phone with any University department. For example, record inquiries, hold and schedule inquiries, Financial Aid inquiries, etc. must be conducted at the University in person with a form of picture ID.
  • Friends or relatives trying to reach the student will not be able to do so through the University.
  • Information that the student is a CMU student will be suppressed. Therefore, if a loan company, perspective employer, family member, etc., inquires about the student, they will be informed that CMU has no record of his/her attendance.

FERPA provides current, former students, and parents of dependent students the right to inspect, review, and challenge their educational records. Students are permitted to inspect and review their educational records within a maximum of 45 days after the request is received. Students may not review financial information received from their parents or guardians, confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975, academic records containing information regarding other students, administrative, disciplinary, law enforcement, student health records, and/or records which are maintained in the sole possession of the maker. While students who have a financial hold or past due account (all holds included) have a right to inspect their academic records, no transcript will be released to the student or other party until holds are reconciled. Bankruptcy, however, removes any financial obligations the student has to Colorado Mesa University.

Upon review, a student may request to the Registrar, in writing, to have his/her educational records amended due to inaccuracies, misleading information or a violation of privacy rights. If the request is denied, the student will be notified in writing and informed of the right to a formal hearing with a hearing officer who is a disinterested party. This hearing officer may, however, be an official of the University. Should a hearing be requested, the student may pick up the appropriate forms at the Registrar's Office. The decision of the hearing officer will be final.

Click here to download a printable FERPA copy.

CMU is committed to being open, accountable and transparent, however, there are some state and federal laws that prohibit the university from releasing certain types of information. Exceptions include student records as protected under the Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and others as noted in the CMU Colorado Open Records Act Policy.

Colorado Mesa University provides information about students that is requested by military recruiters under requirements of the Solomon Amendment (10 U.S.C. § 983). Under this federal law military recruiters may request the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Age
  • Academic major
  • Class level (e.g., freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate, etc.)

Recruiters may not obtain any information that is not in the above list. For example, they may not request any of the following: Social Security Number or ID Number, place of birth, race/ethnicity/nationality, grades and GPA, grades of low-performing students, religious affiliation, names of students with loans in default, veteran status, or names of students no longer enrolled at the institution.

Students who have chosen to restrict FERPA Directory Information with a confidential indicator will not be included in the list. 

Military recruiters may be request information for the immediately previous term or current term for all students age 17 and older who are or were registered at any branch of Colorado Mesa University for at least one credit in the requested term. Recruiters may request this information each term. Each service branch may request one list per term. The data request can be made through the Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Decision Support.

Institutions that do not comply with the Solomon Amendment risk losing federal funding from the departments of Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Transportation, including various forms for federal student aid.