Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day The Cooper Union receives a request for access.

  • Students should submit to the Office of Enrollment Services written requests (signed letters) that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Office of Enrollment Services 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 Office of Enrollment Services, the office shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

The right to request the amendment of any aspect of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights.

  • A student may write to the Office of Enrollment Services to request amendment of a record that he or she believes is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights. Any such request should clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and explain the basis for the student’s request.
  • If the Office of Enrollment Services decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the Office will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her 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.

The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

  • One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by The Cooper Union in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom The Cooper Union contracted (such as attorney, auditor or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
  • 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 responsibility or to carry out an essential educational or administrative function of The Cooper Union.
  • The Cooper Union has defined directory information to include the following: name, local address, local telephone listing, e-mail address, major field of study and college attended, dates of attendance, enrollment status, participation in officially recognized activities and sports and any degrees earned and awards received.
  • Directory information may be released unless the student informs the Vice President of Enrollment Services otherwise in writing.  Students may rescind their no-release request at any time by writing to the Vice President of Enrollment Services.

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by The Cooper Union 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

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.