Information for students about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, P.L. 93-380, 512).

FERPA Questions

If you have questions concerning FERPA, contact the Enrollment Services Office at (505) 224-3000.

As a CNM student, this information will help you understand your FERPA rights. It also explains how to: 

  • Exercise your right to inspect and review your education records.
  • Submit a formal request for non-disclosure of directory information.
  • Request an amendment of inaccurate or misleading education records that are in violation of your privacy rights under FERPA.
  • Exercise your right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education.

I. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Privacy of Student Educational Records 

This federal law affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their educational records (an “eligible student” is a student who is 18 years of age or older or a student who attends a postsecondary institution).  The regulations issued by the Department of Education protect the privacy of education records.

According to federal law, a person is granted FERPA rights as a student when they become "enrolled" at a school. At CNM, for the purposes of FERPA, enrollment begins on the first day of class for those newly admitted students. Enrollment includes attendance in-person or remotely by internet or another medium.  FERPA does not apply to prospective students, applicants, or admitted students until they become an enrolled student in attendance, as specified above.

Prospective students and students admitted to CNM who have not registered for, begun attendance, or newly admitted students who have withdrawn before the term begins are not covered by FERPA.  New students who withdraw before the official census date for their classes are still considered new students the next term they enroll at CNM.

II. Education Records – Definition

Education records are defined as records, files, and communications in any medium that directly relate to and identify a student and are maintained by the school or by a party acting for the school.  These records include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic records
  • Disability records
  • Financial records
  • Advising and counseling documentation

III. Access to Student Education Records

All currently enrolled and former students may have access to their education records:  These rights include:

A)  The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days (calendar days) after the “College” receives a request for access. 

A student must submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the records(s) the student wishes to request.  Inspection will be permitted under conditions that will prevent modification of the record.  The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.  If the records contain information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records which relate to them.  The student must present an approved photo ID.   If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

Documents submitted by or for the student for admission purposes or for evaluation of transfer credit will not be returned to the student or sent to other parties.

B)  The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

A student who wishes to ask the school to amend their record must write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. Any dispute over the education records will be managed through discussions between the student and the Registrar.  If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s 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. This procedure does not provide for a hearing to contest or modify an academic grade.

C)  The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

The school discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.  A school official is a person employed by CNM in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee.  A school official also my include a volunteer or contractor, vendor, organization, agency outside of CNM who performs an institutional service of function for which the college 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 education records.

All third party vendors sign agreements with the College to protect any personally identifiable information (PII) that they have access to.

Upon request, the school also discloses education records without consent to:

  • officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll
  • parents of dependent students when federal tax return is provided
  • appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if knowledge is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons
  • the courts, in compliance with judicial order or subpoena, after the College has made a reasonable effort to notify the student
  • accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions
  • organization conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the college
  • researchers approved by the CNM Institutional Review Board
  • honor societies and other chartered student organizations for determining membership
  • federal, state and locate officials that are responsible for supervising state-supported education programs - this must be in connection with an audit, evaluation of federal or state supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements that relate to those programs
  • authorized recruiters of the U.S. Armed Forces, as per the Solomon Amendment

D)  The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by CNM to comply with the requirement of FERPA.  The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
US Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

IV. Release of Personally Identifiable Information to Other Colleges and Universities

Should a CNM student seek to enroll in another college or university course or degree, CNM may share personally identifiable information with that school’s officials without the student’s prior consent. 

In connection with the student's placement or participation in internships, externships, practicum affiliations or other programs related to the student's courses or programs at CNM.

The Registrar’s Office maintains a record of all releases of student records. A student may request to view a copy of what was shared with other schools by contacting the Registrar’s Office at (505) 224-3000.

V.  College/School Official-Legitimate Educational Need Defined

A CNM official that has a legitimate educational interest and needs to review education records in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities.

VI. Directory Information – Defined

Directory Information is defined by FERPA as information contained in an education record of a current student that “would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed”. Each institution has the right to define, within the limits of FERPA regulations, the data it considers to be directory information.

Directory information may be disclosed from a student’s education record without the prior consent of the student (per FERPA). 

CNM has defined directory information as:

  • Student’s name
  • CNM issued e-mail address*1
  • Mailing address*
  • Major discipline
  • Classification
  • Dates of attendance                          
  • Awards and honors
  • Degrees/certificates awarded

* Limited directory information which only may be disclosed to public or non-profit four year institutions.  CNM reserves the right to deny request for limited directory information.

1Student emails are shared with the CNM Bookstore to facilitate direct communication to students.

This information is available to the public and can be released unless the student submits the Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form to the Enrollment Services Office to withhold directory information. 

To release PII to a third party, students may complete and submit the Authorization for the Release of Educational Records Form. Forms are available on myCNM in the Students tab.

VII. Copies of Document Not Provided

CNM reserves the right to deny copies of records, including transcripts, not required to be made available by FERPA in any of the following situations:

  1. When the student has an unpaid financial obligation to the college
  2. When there is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student