What is FERPA Confidentiality?
From the Office of the Registrar
The Essence of FERPA
- Federal law designed to protect the privacy of education records. It also provides guidelines for appropriately using and releasing student education records.
- It is intended that students' rights be broadly defined and applied. Therefore, consider the student as the "owner" of the information in his or her education record, and the institution as the "custodian" of that record.
See more details in the SFASU FERPA Brochure
Important Information for Parents
When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a postsecondary institution regardless of age, a federal statue entitled the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), transfers right of access to academic records to the student. This removes automatic access by parents and limits the Registrar's ability to provide confidential information by phone, fax, or email to anyone, even the student. Parents, like any other third party, may obtain directory information at the discretion of the institution. The university designates the following items as directory information:
- all addresses, including university issued email addresses,
- all telephone numbers,
- major field of study,
- academic classification,
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports,
- weight and height of members of athletic teams,
- dates of attendance and enrollment status,
- degrees and awards received,
- previous schools attended,
- photograph and
- class roster.
Students have the right to restrict directory information. When this occurs, the Registrar's Office cannot confirm that a student attended SFA, nor release any information regarding the student.
Parents may request to have access to their dependent child's academic/financial information and other student records. The completed and filed Certification of Dependency Form authorizes officials of Stephen F Austin State University to discuss and/or release such student records, some of which may be considered confidential under the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), to the parent. Under FERPA, parents can prove their student's dependency through their Federal Income Tax Return and obtain access to their student's educational records. Parents must complete the Certification of Dependency form (located in the Registrar's Office) and provide the Registrar's Office with the completed form and a copy of the parents' Federal Income Tax Return (the first page only is needed) that proves that the student is a dependent. Note: this process can be overridden by the student if the student restricts directory information.
Even with the completed and filed Certification of Dependency Form, the Registrar's Office is still limited in our ability to provide confidential information by phone, fax, or email to anyone, even the student.
Links for Additional Information about FERPA
What is the policy for Academic Probation and Suspension?
From SFA University Policy:
A student is placed on academic probation after the first regular semester in which the GPA fails to meet the minimum standard (2.0 cumulative GPA). Probation students whose semester GPA is 2.0 or higher will be placed on extended academic probation until the cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher. Academic probation will continue until the student achieves good standing or is suspended from the university.
A student is placed on academic suspension after a regular semester that immediately follows a semester of probation if the student's semester GPA falls below 2.0.
A student on academic suspension may be allowed to continue at the university through any of the following procedures:
1.) Following the student's first suspension, attend summer school at Stephen F. Austin State University and:
a. Raise his/her GPA to the minimum university standard (2.0)
b. Pass with a C average or better in at least nine semester credit hours as specified by his/her dean.
2.) Following the first suspension, the student is reinstated on probation automatically after one regular semester's absence from the university. Following the second or subsequent suspension, the student is reinstated on probation automatically after an absence from the university of two regular semesters. Summer terms are exempted from periods of academic suspension. Students who have sat out a regular semester must reapply for admission as a former student and meet the former student requirements to be reinstated.
3.) Follow procedures established by his/her dean.
*Always contact your Academic Advisor IMMEDIATELY if you have been put on Academic Probation or Suspension!
For the College of Education:
When first placed on Probation within the College of Education, the student is required to complete the below steps throughout the next upcoming semester.
Always maintain constant communication with your Student Success Advisor, in regards to your current Academic Status if on Probation or Suspension.
What is a "3-peat?"
What is a "3-peat?"
A 3-peat is a course that has been taken three or more times at any Texas public institution of higher education.
When will the 3-peat rule go into effect?
Students will be required to pay an additional $100 per semester credit hour for the repeated class beginning spring 2007.
Does this apply to graduate students?
No, this only applies to undergraduate students.
What if I took this class twice at another institution?
This applies to courses attempted more than twice at any Texas public institution of higher education.
Why are students charged additional tuition when a course has been taken three or more times?
The Texas Legislature eliminated funding to higher education for courses that are attempted three or more times.
What is an "attempted course?"
An attempted course is any course in which a grade is earned, a repeated course, or a course dropped after the census date (12th class day in fall or spring semesters, 4th class day in summer terms).
How much more will it cost?
This will cost an additional $100 per semester credit hour. A three-hour course will cost $300 more if this rule applies.
Could students be exempt from the 3-peat rule?
Yes, exemptions for repeated hours for attempted courses are as follows:
- 18 hours of remedial and development courses
- Hours for special topics and seminar courses
- Hours for courses that involve different or more advanced content each time they are taken, including but not limited to, individual music lessons, Workforce Education Courses, manual special topic courses (when the topics change), theater practicum, music performance, ensembles, certain physical education, kinesiology courses, and studio art
- Hours for independent study courses
- Classes taken prior to fall 2002
- A student shall be exempted from payment of higher tuition for any course repeated in the final semester or term before graduation, if the course(s) is taken for the purpose of receiving a grade that will satisfy a degree requirement. This exemption applies for only one semester. The exemption does not affect an institution's ability to charge a higher tuition rate for courses that cannot be reported for funding for other reasons such as the excess credit hour limit.
Do attempted courses include classes dropped before the first class day?
No, an attempted course is any course in which a grade is earned, a repeated course or a course dropped after the census date.
What is the "census date?"
The census date is the 12th class day of a regular semester and the 4th class day of a summer term.
Does the 3-peat rule include transfer credits?
Do students who are already paying non-resident tuition have to pay the extra tuition for repeated courses?
Does the 3-peat rule apply to courses taken prior to spring 2007?
Yes, it applies to courses taken beginning with the fall 2002 semester and thereafter. However, charges will not be assessed before the spring 2007 semester.
What if a student graduated and wanted to repeat a course a third time to help bring up his/her GPA?
Only undergraduate students are affected by this legislation.
From the Controller's Office website: http://www.sfasu.edu/tuitionwarning/3peatfaq.asp
What are "Excessive Hours?"
From the Controller's Office website: http://www.sfasu.edu/controller/businessoffice/students/excess_credit.asp
The State of Texas does not provide funds to state institutions of higher education for excess semester credit hours attempted by a resident undergraduate student. Since funding will not be provided by the State, and as permitted by State law, SFA will charge tuition at the non-resident rate to all students that exceed the semester credit hour limit of their program. The non-resident tuition rate will be charged beginning with the term after the student reaches the maximum number of credit hours attempted in excess of the degree requirement.
Effective with students initially enrolling in the fall 1999 semester and subsequent terms, excess credit hours are those hours attempted by a resident undergraduate student that exceed by more than 45 hours the number of hours required for completion of the degree plan in which the student is enrolled. Effective with students initially enrolling in the fall 2006 semester and subsequent terms, excess credit hours are those hours attempted by a resident undergraduate student that exceed by more than 30 hours the number of hours required for completion of the degree program in which the student is enrolled. For purposes of excess hours, a resident undergraduate student includes a non-resident student who is permitted to pay resident tuition.
The semester credit hours counted toward the limitation include all hours attempted by the student except:
- Semester credit hours earned by the student before receiving a baccalaureate degree that has been previously awarded.
- Semester credit hours earned by the student by examination or other procedure by which credit is earned without registering for a course for which tuition is charged.
- Credit for remedial education courses, technical courses, workforce education courses funded according to contact hours, or other courses that would not generate academic credit that could be applied toward a degree program at SFA.
- Semester credit hours earned by the student at a private or an out-of-state institution.
- Semester credit hours earned by the student before graduating from high school and used to satisfy high school graduation requirements (i.e., dual credit courses). (Effective Fall 2009)
Initial Enrollment in Texas Public Institution of Higher Education
*Maximum # of Attempted Credit Hrs in Excess of Degree Requirements Allowed at Resident Rate
Prior to Fall 1999
Fall 1999-Summer 2006
* Hours earned through examination without registering for a course are always excluded from the maximum number of hours allowed at the resident rate. Additionally, effective Fall 2009, dual credit hours are excluded from the maximum number of hours allowed at the resident rate.
Texas Education Code Sec. 54.014 and 61.0595
When is the best time to get advised?
The College of Education Advisors, advise year round (excluding some Holidays) Monday-Friday from 8am until 5pm. Typically after the 12th class day is when a student is able to begin being advised for the next semester. For basic questions, students can always email their advisor, or schedule an additional appointment at any available time. Get advised early!
Appointments are scheduled online at: https://booknow.appointment-plus.com/11yyqlzv/10