Protecting Students' Privacy / FERPA


How You Protect Your Privacy

  • Never share your passwords.
    Do not allow anyone access to your Midwestern University portal or your personal e-mail account. Doing so compromises your personal information. No Midwestern employee will ever ask for your password.
  • Always log out when you're done.
    When you log out, this proactively secures your account so that no one can log in without a password.
  • Read carefully before you sign or click "Agree."
    When you sign a document or click "Agree" on a web site, you are making an unbreakable contract. Many agreements include terms that affect your privacy and how your information will be shared.
  • Keep your stuff safe.
    Your phone, computer, wallet, or purse contain a ton of information about you that a thief can use to steal your identity. Secure your electronic devices with a lock code. Don't carry personal documents, like your social security card or bank statement, unless you absolutely need them today. Keep these locked up in a safe place.
  • Know your rights.
    The law tells your schools, banks, and doctors what they can and cannot do with your personal information. Read the Notification of Student Rights section below to understand how the law protects your education records.

How We Protect Your Privacy

  • We require your permission.
    If you want us to share your educational records—even with you—your written permission is required. This means you'll either have to provide a specific written and signed request or personally login at online.midwestern.edu to make your request.
  • We control access.
    We only allow a special group of Midwestern employees, contractors, or affiliates to access your records, and then only the parts of your records they need to do their jobs. For example, your professor can see your grades in that specific course, but admission officers cannot.
  • We lock up your education records.
    All electronic education records are stored in secured systems protected by encryption. The Office of the Registrar is also physically secured and access is restricted to essential staff.
  • We educate you.
    Knowledge is power. With this page and other resources such as the Midwestern University Course Catalog and the Midwestern University Student Handbook, we make sure you have access to important policies that affect your privacy and education records so that you can best understand how your information is used.

How to Request Release of Education Records

Only a student (or former student) can authorize the release of his or her own records. No third party, such as a parent or assistant, may authorize the release of records on a student's behalf.

All requests must define specific records to be released as well as length of time the request is valid.

Online Requests

Log in at online.midwestern.edu to request these education records:

Requests made at online.midwestern.edu are generally processed in one business day.

Other Requests

For all other requests, please contact the Office of the Registrar on your campus and request the Consent for Release of Educational Records form. We can only release your educational records after you return the completed and signed form along with a copy of your legal photo ID and check for $10 payable to "Midwestern University." Allow at least 14 business days for requests processed using this paper form.

Notification of Student Rights under the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), Midwestern University students are hereby notified of their rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a written request for access. A student should submit to the registrar or dean of students, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed or make arrangements for inspection with the official with access to the records.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record (either the registrar or the dean of students), clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student's right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. For example, the University discloses education records without a student's prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or entity with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent; and vendors of services such as email or other electronic applications, enrollment verification, and so on). A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University. Upon request, the University may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or in response to a subpoena or other order. FERPA also permits non-consensual disclosure of education records, or personally identifiable, non-directory information from education records in connection with an emergency, if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. Finally, "public information" may be released unless the student files the appropriate form requesting that certain public information not be released. If you would like to request this form, please contact the Office of the Registrar. Public information is limited to name; address; e-mail address; phone; major field of study; dates of attendance; admission or enrollment status; campus; school, college, or division; class standing; degrees and awards; activities and sports information.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Midwestern University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
       Family Policy Compliance Office
       U.S. Department of Education
       400 Maryland Avenue, SW
       Washington, DC 20202-5901

Additional Rights under the Solomon Amendment

Under the 1996 Solomon Amendment (10 U.S.C. § 983), education institutions are required to fulfill military requests to the Department of Defense for student recruiting information. Student recruiting information may include, but is not limited to: Student name, university e-mail address, telephone number, date of birth, degree program, class, major, degree received, and educational institutions attended.

Under FERPA, students may request that directory information be withheld. This protection will be honored under the Solomon Amendment. Any student who wishes to have this information withheld should file a request to strictly block information to third parties with the Office of the Registrar. Contact the Office of the Registrar for more information.

Any Department of Defense organization wishing to request this information must make the request in writing and provide specific details about the information that is requested and its purpose. Generalized requests cannot be honored, such as those requesting "all contact information for all students."

 

Additional information about privacy and educational records appears in the Midwestern University Student Handbook.