Florida SouthWestern State College respects each student's right to privacy and releases, provides access to, and maintains a student's record in accordance with all applicable state and federal regulations.
Custodians of Student Records
Florida SouthWestern State College has designated the Registrar as the official custodian of general student records. The Director of Financial Aid has been designated as the official custodian of student financial aid records. The information contained in a student's record becomes the property of Florida SouthWestern State College and is not released without the written permission of the student.
Policies Governing Student Records/FERPA
Under the terms of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Florida SouthWestern State College has established the following as Directory Information:
- Student's name
- Date(s) of enrollment
- Degree(s) and honors earned and dates
- Participation in officially recognized activities or sports
- Enrollment status (e.g., full-time or part-time student status)
- Previous colleges attended
Although the above Directory Information may be available for release to the general public, Florida SouthWestern State College does not routinely release such information to third parties. Under FERPA, students have the right to inform Florida SouthWestern State College that directory information is not to be released. Florida SouthWestern State College honors the student's request to restrict the release of "Directory Information" as stated previously. To withhold information, a student must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing. Status of disclosure at the last registration period is binding and all records are noted: "CONFIDENTIAL." No information is to be released without the written consent of the student.
Florida SouthWestern State College has designated the National Student Clearinghouse, BankMobile, CareerSource, Credentials Solutions, and Florida public universities as agents of the college, authorized to release student information in the performance of their contracted duties.
Notification of Access and Review of Student Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) § 513 of P.L 93-380 affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights are:
- The right to inspect and review their education record within 45 days of Florida SouthWestern State College receiving a request for access. The student should submit to the Registrar or other appropriate Florida SouthWestern State College official a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Florida SouthWestern State College official arranges for access and notifies the student of the time and place where the student may inspect the record(s). In the case where a request is presented to a Florida SouthWestern State College official who does not maintain the requested records, the Florida SouthWestern State College official advises the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of their education records if the student believes the record is inaccurate or misleading. The student should submit to the Registrar or other appropriate Florida SouthWestern State College official a written request clearly identifying the part of the record the student wants changed, and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading. The Florida SouthWestern State College official notifies the student if it is decided to amend or not to amend the record as requested by the student. The Florida SouthWestern State College official advises the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment and provides additional information regarding the hearing procedures to the student.
- The right to request the non-disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) contained in their education record, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Students should contact the Office of the Registrar for more information. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is the disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Florida SouthWestern State College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel), a person serving on the District 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 their duties. A school official may also include a volunteer or contractor outside of the school 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 with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from educational records (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks). A school official has legitimate educational interests if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, Florida SouthWestern State College discloses education records without consent to officials of school(s) to which the student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Florida SouthWestern State College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Under a 1997 rule adopted by the United States Department of Defense, the College, if requested, must provide to the U.S. military the student's name, address, telephone number, date of birth, level of education, current major and degrees received for all students age 17 or older.
Notification of Social Security Number Collection and Usage
In compliance with Fla. Stat. §119.071(5), Florida SouthWestern State College collects and uses student social security numbers (SSNs) only for the following purposes in performance of the College's duties and responsibilities. To protect student identity, Florida SouthWestern State College will protect all social security numbers from unauthorized access, never release social security numbers to unauthorized parties, and assign each student/employee a unique identification number (Banner ID#). This unique ID number is used for all associated employment and educational purposes at Florida SouthWestern State College.
Office of the Registrar
Federal legislation relating to the Hope Tax Credit requires all post-secondary institutions to report student SSNs to the Internal Revenue Service. This IRS requirement makes it necessary for colleges to collect the SSN of every student. A student may refuse to disclose his or her SSN to the College, but the IRS is then authorized to fine the student in the amount of $50.00 (Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Public Law No. 105-34, 111 Stat. 788).
In addition to the federal reporting requirements, the public school system in Florida uses SSNs as a student identifier (Fla. Stat. §1008.386; Florida Public Records, Fla. Stat. §119.071(5)(a)2.a.(II)). In a seamless K-20 system, it is beneficial for post-secondary institutions to have access to the same information for purposes of tracking and assisting students in the smooth transition from one education level to the next. All SSNs are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and are never released to unauthorized parties.
Financial Aid Office
The Office of Financial Aid requires students to submit their social security numbers on various forms to correctly identify applicants, match each applicant's financial aid record with the student record, and help coordinate state aid programs with federal and institutional aid programs (Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, Sections 441-448, 483 and 484(p), 20 U.S.C §109 (p), 20 U.S.C §1078-2(f); Code of Federal Regulations, 34 CFR 668.32(i) and 668.36; 38 U.S.C §3471).
Human Resources Office/Payroll Office
The SSN is used for legitimate employment business purposes in compliance with:
- The Application and Employment Packet: completing and processing the Federal I-9 (Department of Homeland Security).
- Completing and processing payroll documents: Federal W4, W2 and W9 for 1099 reporting (Internal Revenue Service); Federal social security taxes (FICA); processing and distributing Federal W2 (Internal Revenue Service); direct deposit files.
- Completing and processing quarterly unemployment reports (FL Dept. of Revenue).
- Completing and processing Florida Retirement Contribution reports (FL Dept. of Revenue).
- Workers Compensation Claims (FCCRMC and Department of Labor).
- Completing and processing federal and state employee and educational reports.
- Completing and processing 401a, 403b and 457b contribution reports.
- Completing and processing group health, life and dental coverage enrollment.
- Completing and processing various supplemental insurance deduction reports.
- Providing your Social Security number is a condition of employment at Florida SouthWestern State College.
Student, faculty, and staff social security numbers may be used in the libraries' patron database for online login authentication, patron verification and the elimination of duplicate records (Florida Public Records, Fla. Stat. §119.071(5)(a)6.b.).