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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) places certain limitations on the disclosure of personally identifiable student information maintained by PCOM with respect to students; limits access to academic records; and gives students certain rights with respect to educational records, including the right to access, the right to obtain copies, the right to seek correction of such records through informal and formal internal procedures, and the right to place a statement in such educational records explaining any information that they believe to be inaccurate or misleading.

Directory Information

PCOM considers certain information to be “directory information” under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and therefore, subject to disclosure without prior consent of the student. Unless written objection is received by the Registrar, the College will treat the following as directory information to be released at the discretion of the Registrar’s Office: student name, address, telephone number, email address, enrollment status, dates of attendance, major field of study, dean’s list, degrees and awards received and names of undergraduate and/or graduate schools attended, internships and residencies.

Right to Withhold Disclosure

Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of directory information. To prevent disclosure, the Registrar Office must receive written notification from a student indicating the information to be withheld. Should a student decide to inform the institution not to release certain information, any future requests for such information from non-institutional persons or organizations will be refused. Decisions about withholding any information should be made very carefully.

PCOM will honor each request to withhold any of the categories of information indicated by a student. However we cannot assume responsibility to contact a student for subsequent permission to release them should requests be received.

PCOM assumes that failure to request the withholding of directory information indicates approval for disclosure.

Right to Consent to the Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information

All personally identifiable information related to a particular student other than directory information is considered confidential information and may not be released without the written consent of the student. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest (including but not limited to administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff)
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
  • Accrediting organizations
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena PCOM Registrar will make reasonable attempt to notify the student
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law
  • Military

A school official is determined to have a legitimate educational interest if the information requested is required for that official to:

  • Perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his/her position/description or contract/agreement
  • Perform a task related to the student’s education
  • Perform a task related to the discipline of a student
  • Provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family such as health care, counseling, job placement or financial aid

The school official is not authorized to share this information with a third party without the student’s written permission. Such information, when it has fulfilled its original purpose, should be returned to the originating office. All other access to a student’s record is granted in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Right to Inspection and Review of Records

When the student matriculates, the Office of Admissions will forward the following materials to the Registrar Office.

Information retained in the file is as follows:

  • Current application
  • AACOMAS profile (DO students)
  • CASPA profile (PA students)
  • PHARMCAS profile (PharmD students)
  • Transcripts
  • Standardized test scores (i.e., MCAT, GRE, MAT)
  • Letters of acceptance and prepayment
  • Completed Technical Standards form
  • Previous applications and decision-related correspondence
  • Criminal background check

All other materials in the applicant file are purged in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.

Current or previously enrolled student have the right to inspect and review his or her education records that are maintained by the school. This right does not extend to applicants, those denied admission or those admitted who do not enroll. A 10-day written notice must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

Other data accrued during the student’s tenure at the College including, but not limited to, transcripts, academic status letters (i.e. probation, warning, dismissal), course related forms (i.e. withdrawal), name change and change of status documentation will be placed in the student’s file.

Transcripts or grade reports from other institutions, criminal background check, copies of scores from national tests (MCAT, NBOME Board scores, Praxis, etc.) and/or any other third party material will not be released by PCOM. Students must contact the institution that issued these documents to obtain copies.

Complaints regarding alleged violations of rights accorded students by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or the regulations promulgated there under may be directed in writing to:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920

Visit the Department of Education for more information.