Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA protects college students’ education records, so they remain confidential between the college and student.  Information can be found in the U.S. Department of Education publication, An Eligible Student Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Protected education records include, but are not limited to, academic progress and grade reports, financial information, dorm life, student activities, and any disciplinary actions. These are all considered private and cannot be shared without the student’s written and signed consent.

The ACU Student Handbook provides a full notification of students’ rights under FERPA, as well as procedures for requesting information or filing a complaint. These rights include:  

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day that Arizona Christian University (ACU) receives a request for access. The student should submit to the Office of the Registrar, in hardcopy form or via email to [email protected], a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Office of the Registrar will notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Office of the Registrar, that office shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. 
  • ACU students have online access to their academic and financial records through their student account in Populi. Students do not need to submit a written request to review these records but may still request an amendment as stated below.      
  1. The right to request an amendment of the student’s 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 ACU to amend a record should write to the Office of the Registrar, clearly identifying the part of the record the student wants changed and specifying why it should be changed. If ACU decides not to amend the record as requested, the Office of the Registrar will notify the student in writing of the decision and of 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 the student is notified of the right to a hearing.
  • Please note that this process cannot be used to contest or change a grade.
  • This process cannot be used to dispute a charge on a student’s account.  
  1. The right to provide written consent before ACU discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. FERPA permits the disclosure of education records to school officials who need to review such records in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities to ACU.  

 A school official typically includes:

  • A person employed by ACU in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); 
  • A person serving on the board of trustees, or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee;
  • A volunteer or contractor outside of ACU who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school.
  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by ACU to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Students are encouraged to first contact University Registrar Services at (480) 965-7302. A complaint may be filed in writing with the Department of Education at the following address:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Directory Information 

ACU may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless the student has advised ACU to the contrary in accordance with ACU procedures.   

ACU does not publicly release a student directory or any directory information outside of ACU, except for:

  • Graduation programs, which  may contain student names, degrees, majors, and graduation honors.

Internal to ACU, the Populi dashboard allows certain student directory information to be viewed by other active students and staff who also have access to Populi. This information includes the student’s:  

  • Name
  • Photo 
  • Degree and Major 
  • School Email  

Any student can opt-out of providing this information by setting his or her Populi profile to Private. After logging into Populi, the student should click on his or her thumbnail photo in the top right, select My Profile from the dropdown menu, and then select Yes under Make My Profile Private.

Health and Safety Exemption

The university is permitted to disclose, without student consent, the information in a student’s education record including, but not limited to, personally identifiable, non-directory information in connection with a health or safety emergency. The situation must present an imminent danger to a student or other member of the university community to qualify for this exemption. A health and safety exemption request must be approved by one of the following: the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Chief Operating Officer, Vice President of Campus Operations, Director of Campus Safety, or University Registrar.

Office of the Registrar

Arizona Christian University
1 W. Firestorm Way
Glendale, AZ 85306

(602) 386-4111

[email protected]