Privacy Rights and Disclosure of Academic Records (FERPA Policy)
The following is Hamline University’s FERPA Policy, also available online.
Introduction: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, was designated to protect the privacy of education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Hamline University intends to comply fully with the Act. Students who have questions or wish to take action with respect to any of the FERPA statements below should do so with their respective Registrar’s Office.
Education Records: FERPA affords students certain rights regarding their education records which include:
The right to inspect and review their education records within forty-five (45) days of Hamline University receiving the request. Students must submit a signed, written request to the registrar identifying the records they wish to inspect. The registrar will notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Student records are available to them with the following exceptions: confidential letters of recommendation submitted prior to 1975; records of their parents’ financial status; records related to their student employment that are subject to other laws and are administered by the Human Resources office; medical and psychological records, which will be released only to a healthcare professional designated by the student; and, if the student signed a voluntary waiver of access, letters of recommendation related to admission, candidacy for awards, and candidacy for employment — these records may be used only for the purpose originally intended.
The right to request an amendment to education records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask Hamline University, in writing via the registrar, for such an amendment by clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading. If Hamline University decides not to amend the record, the registrar will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of the right to a hearing. Additional information about the hearing procedures will be provided to the student with the notification.
The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One such exception is disclosure to a school official with legitimate educational interest. A school official is a person employed by Hamline University including law enforcement and health staff; contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other outside service providers used by Hamline University to perform institutional services and functions; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official. An official has a legitimate educational interest if they must review an education record in order to fulfill professional responsibility. Upon request, Hamline University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which the students seeks or intends to enroll and to officials of another educational agency or institution if the student is enrolled in or receives services from the other agency or institution. Students must submit a signed request to the registrar for grade reports or transcripts to be released to a third party (such as a parent or spouse).
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Hamline University to comply with the rights of FERPA.
Directory Information As required by FERPA, Hamline University designates the following categories of student information as public or Directory Information. Such information may be disclosed by Hamline for any purpose, at its discretion:
- Student name
- Student ID number
- Email address
- Telephone number
- Date and place of birth
- Dates of attendance
- Full-time or part-time status
- Major and minor fields of study
- Awards and honors (including Dean’s list)
- Degrees earned and dates conferred
- Previous institutions attended
- Past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities
- Physical factors (height and weight) of athletes
- Photographs taken and maintained by the university for various purposes
Release of Student Information to Others
Except as specified above, your records will be released only upon completion of a Consent Form or letter you have signed. Any such release will include a notice that further release by the recipient is prohibited by law. A record of the release will be maintained. Records about you will be released without your consent to your parents if you are a dependent as defined by the Internal Revenue Service; to federal officers as prescribed by law; as required by state law; to agencies or individuals conducting educational research, provided that the administrator of the records is satisfied concerning the legitimacy of the research effort and the confidentiality to be maintained by the researcher; to agencies responsible for accreditation of the institution or its programs; in response to a lawful subpoena, after making reasonable attempts to provide prior notification and opportunity for objection by you; and to institutional security officers when necessary for a criminal investigation.
Election of Confidentiality
Under FERPA, currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of directory information (see above) by notifying their registrar in writing. Electing confidentiality has significant consequences; please see your registrar for more information. Hamline University assumes that non-notification by the student to withhold directory information indicates individual approval for disclosure.
Retention of Records
Hamline University reserves the right to maintain only those records it considers useful and to set retention schedules for various categories of those records according to American Assembly of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) professional guidelines. However, the administrator responsible for each category of records will ensure that a record being challenged is not destroyed prior to resolution of the dispute.
Release of Information to Hamline Community: The Alumni Office will not release any information regarding alumni to any person, organization, or institution other than to fellow alumni, staff, faculty or students of Hamline University School of Law. The Alumni Office will release name, business address, business telephone number, e-mail address, and year of graduation.
Alumni Request for Confidentiality: An alum may request that the alumni record be marked as confidential and that information will not be available to anyone without the alumnus/alumna’s consent, unless required by law.
If a non-alum requests information regarding an alum of the School of Law, the alum will normally be contacted to let him or her know that a non-alum was seeking information.
Sale or Distribution of Alumni Databases: The Alumni Office does not sell, distribute, or make the alumni database available to any outside organization or institution that is not directly related to or employed by the university.
Privacy of Student Transcripts: A student’s educational records are private. Transcripts of records can be issued to the student and to other persons only as allowed by Hamline’s FERPA policy. Requests from any other party must include a release/authorization duly executed by the student.
Transcript Types: All transcripts issued by the Office of the Registrar are official transcripts.
Electronic Transcripts: Electronic transcripts are digitally signed, secure PDF documents available via Piperline available to students who graduated 1990 or later.
Paper Transcripts: Traditional official paper transcripts are available to be picked up in the Office of the Registrar or via standard mail.
Requesting a Transcript: The preferred method for requesting a transcript is Piperline. The link path is Student Services, Student Records, Request Official Transcripts. Follow on-screen instructions.
Fees: There is no fee associated with regular individual transcript requests. See below for rush requests. Hamline Law reserves the right to charge a $5.00 per transcript fee for abnormal, excessive and/or repetitive requests including requests for more than five transcripts per day, transcripts that are not picked up, and multiple identical PDF transcript requests.
Transcript Processing Time: Requests for paper transcripts are processed daily during regular business hours. Electronic transcripts requests are automatically processed every hour including after business hours. Routine system maintenance and unexpected system failures may delay processing.
Transcripts with Rush Service: Requests for overnight delivery of paper transcripts can be arranged by contacting the Office of the Registrar by telephone during regular business hours. The requester is responsible for providing and paying for shipping labels for overnight delivery services. Paper transcripts cannot be faxed.
Restrictions on Issuance of a Transcript: Official transcripts will not be issued for students with outstanding financial obligations towards Hamline University.
The Hamline Law Dean may restrict issuance of official transcripts for other reasons.
Issuance of Other Official Documents
Document Issuance—No Fee: Upon request, the Office of the Registrar will issue a customary number of copies of the following documents free of charge to students or to third parties who have the written permission of the student.
- Dean’s Honors Verifications
- Expected Graduation Term/Date Verification
- Good Standing Verification (except for visiting away or transfer, see below)
- GPA Verification
- Grade Verification
- Ranking Verification
- Certificate of Eligibility to Sit for a Bar Exam
Procedure for Issuance of Other Official Documents: All requests must be in writing and signed by the student. Document Request forms are available in the OTR and online at http://www.hamline.edu/law/registrar/forms/. An e-mail from the student’s Hamline e-mail account is considered a valid, electronically signed, request.
Letter of Good Standing/Fee: There is a $50.00 fee to issue a letter of good standing to authorize a visit away at another law school. There is a $10.00 fee to issue a letter of good standing with a transcript and LSAT score for transfer to another school.
Fee Waivers: Requests for a fee waiver due to documented extremely exigent economic hardship will be considered by the Assistant Dean for Students and Diversity.
Enrollment and Degree Verifications: Hamline University School of Law has contracted with the National Student Clearinghouse to provide enrollment/degree/graduation verifications. The National Student Clearinghouse can be contacted at http://www.enrollmentverify.org or http://www.degreeverify.org or by mail at:
National Student Clearinghouse
13454 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 300
Herndon, VA 20171
All degree and enrollment verifications must be performed by the Clearinghouse.
Enrollment Verification to the Veterans Administration (VA) and Similar Agencies: Students eligible for educational benefits from the VA or similar federal, state, or local agencies who need enrollment verification to start or continue receiving educational benefits must request such verification from the financial aid office.
Students seeking benefits through the VA need to request verification of enrollment only once to start receiving benefits. Enrollment verifications to the VA will be automatically processed at appointed times each subsequent semester until such time as the student graduates or requests that certification stops. Within each semester, eligible students may request immediate recertification to the VA after a change in enrollments; automatic recertification occurs within 30 days of the change. Students requesting enrollment verification for any other agency must request it each time they need it.
Course loads during fall and spring semesters are reported to the VA as follows:
- 12+ credits: Full-Time
- 9-11 credits: Three-Quarters Time
- 6-8 credits: Half-Time
- 5 or fewer credits: Less Than Half-Time
Course loads during Summer terms are reported to the VA as follows:
- 6+ credits: Full-Time
- 4-5 credits: Three-Quarters Time
- 3 credits: Half-Time
- 2 or fewer credits: Less Than Half-Time
Students enrolled in a January term are reported as Full Time.
Please NOTE: a half-time credit load is not equivalent to a part-time credit load as defined in AR 104. Rather, it is a measure of the number of credits for VA reimbursement purposes, and it ranges from half of the minimum number of credits for a standard full-time load, as defined in AR 104, to half of the maximum number of credits for a standard full-time load, as defined in AR 104.
No fees are assessed for VA and similar certification/verification services.
Name and Gender Changes
Minor Name Corrections: Minor changes in names (for example, spelling corrections or revisions) can be made without a court order at the discretion of the OTR. In these instances, the student must provide documentation such as a current driver’s license, Social Security card, or resident alien card.
Legal Name Changes: Students must notify the Office of the Registrar within sixty days of a legal name change. They must submit a Name Change Authorization Form to the Office of the Registrar in person, along with original supporting documentation such as a new Social Security card, marriage license, dissolution decree, court ordered name change, etc. These originals will be returned to the student upon request. Name changes cannot be made online.
Alumni Name Changes: Hamline Law alumni can make requests to the OTR. They must provide the same documentation as students.
Gender Changes: A certified copy of a court order is required, along with a written request from the student, to change the gender designation and the accompanying name on institutional records.
Diploma Names: Diplomas are issued with the student’s legal name on file at the time of degree completion.
Forms Required for Academic Record Changes or Provision of Information
The following forms which are necessary to change academic records, seek academic permissions or receive academic documents, are available in the Office of the Registrar and/or online at on the Law Registrar forms webpage.
- Add/Drop Form
- Application for Graduation
- Authorization to Furnish Information to State Board of Law Examiners/State Bars/Other Licensing Agencies
- Clinic Student Director Permission Slip
- Consortium Course Request
- Consortium, Visiting, Special or Auditing Student Application (for non-Hamline Law students)
- Disclosure: Post-Application Legal Violation
- Disclosure: Pre-Application Incident
- Document Request
- DRI Certificate Program Application
- Exam Variance Request Form
- Graduation Date Change
- Graduate Course Registration Form
- Grade Change Form
- Independent Study Registration Form
- Joint Degree (Dual Degree) Application for Admission
- Joint Degree Programs – Certificate of Eligibility to Enroll
- Leave of Absence Form
- Legal Name/Gender Change
- Overload/Underload Status Request
- Pass/No Pass Option Form
- Petition for Incomplete Grade
- Petition for Internal Transfer
- Petition to Visit Away
- Request for a Letter of Recommendation
- Request for Approval of Pro-bono Activity
- Student Certification for Limited Practice
- Transfer of Credits from LLM Program to JD Program (*)
(*) Available to LL.M. students only