Frequently Asked Questions
college student

What is FERPA?

FERPA is the acronym for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This is the federal law that administers the security or protection of student records. This law is often called the "Buckley Amendment" after the Senator James Buckley of New York.

Where can I find more information about FERPA?

The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for the administration of this law. Additional information can be found on their Family Policy Compliance Office Website. You can also view DMACC policy ES 4600 or contact DMACC's Registrar at 515-964-6800.

At DMACC, what records are protected by FERPA?

FERPA covers a wide range of student educational records. This includes records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. At DMACC this includes, but is not limited to: academic performance information (grades), progress information (assignments/exams, attendance), transcripts, disciplinary files, class schedules, financial records, disability records/documentation, and personal information such as social security number and student ID number. Among the records that are not protected by FERPA are dates of enrollment, academic major, and degrees received.

What does it mean to say the records are "protected?"

Protected student records cannot be released to a third party (including family members) without the student's written permission.

I had access to my student's high school records. Why don't I have access to college records?

Under FERPA and as outlined in DMACC policy, the access rights parents and legal guardians had in elementary and secondary schools are transferred to students once they turn eighteen or enroll with a postsecondary institution, whichever comes first.

Why do I have limited access to my student's college records when I'm paying his or her college expenses?

You can have access to your student's college records by requesting that he or she provide the information to you or sign a release form so that a college official can provide it to you. Release forms are available in the Student Services office of every DMACC campus. You can also print a copy.

Will I be notified if my student is put on academic probation or academically suspended from DMACC?

No. Information about grades and academic performance is sent directly to students and available to them online using DMACC's Web Information System. You can, of course, ask the student to keep you informed about his/her academic performance.