[TACRAO] Listserv FERPA and Debt Collection

Fri May 8 15:09:15 CDT 2020

Hi Troy.

>From the section on FERPA exceptions at ed.gov:

One of the exceptions to the prior written consent requirement in FERPA allows "school officials," including teachers, within a school to obtain access to personally identifiable information contained in education records provided the school has determined that they have "legitimate educational interest" in the information. Although the term "school official" is not defined in the statute or regulations, this Office generally interprets the term to include parties such as: professors; instructors; administrators; health staff; counselors; attorneys; clerical staff; trustees; members of committees and disciplinary boards; and a contractor, volunteer or other party to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions.

A debt collector can fall into the "contractor" category, and our contract may stipulate proper use of the student information (I'm not in that spoke of wheel here so I don't have access to look at it).

We also have this statement in catalog:

NOTICE: DELINQUENT INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS, UNPAID RETURNED PAYMENTS, OUTSTANDING MISCELLANEOUS CHARGES, AND FINANCIAL AID ADJUSTMENTS WILL BE SENT TO A THIRD-PARTY AGENCY FOR COLLECTION. THE STUDENT MAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY COLLECTION AGENCY FEES INCURRED FROM THE ADDITIONAL COLLECTION EFFORTS.  A student who fails to make full payment prior to the end of the semester or term/quarter will be prohibited from registering for future classes until full payment is made. Failure to make full payment prior to the end of the term/quarter may result in transcript denial.

Rebecca Griffith
District Director of Admissions and Records | Enrollment and Academic Support Services
Tarrant County College | Office: TREF 3104A
300 Trinity Campus Circle | Fort Worth, TX 76102
817 515 1581 | rebecca.griffith at tccd.edu<mailto:rebecca.griffith at tccd.edu>

From: tacrao-bounces at tamuc.edu <tacrao-bounces at tamuc.edu> On Behalf Of Troy G. White
Sent: Friday, May 8, 2020 10:33 AM
To: tacrao at tamuc.edu
Subject: [TACRAO] Listserv FERPA and Debt Collection

Hello, Friends!  (cue Lil' Bill :))

Perhaps our institution is unique and no one else has to deal with students not paying their bills, but in the event we are not alone, what processes/procedures/policies does your institution have in place regarding the release of directory or non-directory information to debt collection agencies?


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Troy G. White, M.Ed.
University Registrar
East Texas Baptist University
903.923.2060 | tgwhite at etbu.edu<mailto:tgwhite at etbu.edu>
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