I. VOTER REGISTRATION, 20 U.S.C. §1094(a)(23)(A).
The 1998 Higher Education Act requires all post-secondary institutions to make a
good-faith effort to distribute voter registration forms to each degree or certificate-seeking
student that attends classes on campus, and to make such forms widely available
to students. (The law does not apply in states with no voter registration requirement
or where voters can register at the time of voting). The institution must request
forms from the state 120 days prior to the deadline for registering to vote in the
state. In Georgia, the deadline for registering is usually the fifth prior to the
date of the primary or election. The law applies to all general and special elections
for federal office (i.e. President, Vice President, Senator, and Representative
to the U.S. Congress, see 2 U.S.C §431(3)) and includes elections for Governor
and other state chief executive.
II. DRUG FREE SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES ACT, ("DFSCA"), 20 U.S.C. §1145(g),
34 C.F.R. §86.1 et seq.
The DFSCA requires institutions receiving federal financial assistance to establish
drug and alcohol prevention programs for students and employees. At a minimum, each
institution must distribute to all students and employees annually:
- Standards of conduct that clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution
of illicit drugs and alcohol on college property or as part of any college activities;
- A description of the applicable legal sanctions under local, state, or federal law
for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol;
- A description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the
abuse of alcohol;
- A description of any drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation or
re-entry programs that are available to employees and students; and clear statement
that the institution will impose sanctions on students and employees (consistent
with local, state, and federal law), and a description of those sanctions, up to
and including expulsion or termination of employment and referral for prosecution,
for violations of the standards of conduct.
- The law further requires an institution of higher education to conduct a biennial
review of its program to:
i. Determine the program's effectiveness and implement changes if they are needed;
ii. Ensure that the sanctions developed are consistently enforced. See 34 C.F.R.
Institutions were required to make a one-time certification to the Secretary of
Education that the college has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the
use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees. See 34
The biennial review of the program and any other records relating to the drug prevention
program certification must be retained for three (3) years. Records relating to
any litigation, claim, audit or other action involving the records must be retained
for three (3) years or until completion of the action and resolution of all issues
that arise from such litigation, claim, audit, etc. See 34 C.F.R. §86.103
III. FINANCIAL AID, PROGRAMS AND ATHLETICS INFORMATION, 20 U.S.C. §1092;
34 C.F.R .§668.
Detailed information is required under the Higher Education Amendments regarding
financial aid, tuition, fees and other costs of attendance, academic programs, accreditation,
handicapped services/facilities, study abroad and completion/graduation, transfer-out
rates, as applicable, and athletic program information.
A. Financial Assistance Information, 34 C.F.R. §668.42.
Institutions must publish and make readily available to all current students and
all prospective students upon request a description of all federal, state, local,
private and institutional student financial assistance programs available to students,
including both need-based and non-need-based programs. For each financial aid program
described, the information must include:
- procedures and forms by which students apply for assistance;
- student eligibility requirements;
- the criteria for selecting recipients; and
- the criteria for determining the amount of a student's award.
These materials must be made available to students via appropriate publications
and mailings before they enter into a financial obligation with the institution.
34 C.F.R. §668.42(b).
The institution must describe the rights and responsibilities of students that receive
financial assistance under the Title IV, HEA Programs, including specific information
B. Institutional Information, 34 C.F.R. §668.43.
- the criteria for continued student eligibility under each program;
- standards which the student must maintain in order to be considered to be making
satisfactory progress for purpose of receiving financial assistance and the criteria
by which the student who has failed to maintain satisfactory progress may re-establish
his/her eligibility for financial assistance;
- the method by which financial assistance disbursements are made to students and
the frequency thereof;
- the terms of any loan received by a student, a sample loan repayment schedule and
the necessity for repaying loans;
- the general conditions and terms that apply to any employment which is part of a
students' financial assistance package;
- the institution must provide and collect exit counseling information as required
by 34 C.F.R. 674.42 for Perkins Loan Program borrowers by 34 C.F.R. 685.304 for
William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program borrowers and by 34 C.F.R. 682.604
for Federal Stafford Loan Program borrowers; and
- the conditions under which students receiving Federal Family Education Loan or Ford
Direct Loan assistance may obtain repayment deferrals for service under the Peace
Corps Act, the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 or comparable volunteer community
service. See 34 C.F.R. 668.42.
Institutions must publish and make readily available to all current and prospective
students certain required institutional information. This information must be made
available to enrolled or prospective students, on request, via appropriate publications,
mailings or electronic media before the student enters into a financial obligation
with the institution. 34 C.F.R. §668.41(d). The required institutional information
C. Completion or Graduation Rate Information, 34 C.F.R. §668.45.
- costs of attendance, including tuition and fees, estimates of necessary books and
supplies, estimates of typical charges for room and board, transportation costs
for students, and any additional costs of a program in which a student is enrolled
or has expressed an interest;
- a statement of the refund policy for return of unearned tuition and fees or other
costs paid to the institution;
- the procedures for officially withdrawing from the college;
- a summary of the requirements (under 34 C.F.R. §668.22) for the return of Title
IV grant or loan assistance;
- the academic programs of the institution, including current degree programs and
other educational and training programs, the instructional laboratory and other
physical facilities that relate to the academic program, and the institution's faculty
and instructional personnel;
- the names of any entities which accredit, approve or license the institution in
its programs, and the procedures by which documents describing that activity can
be reviewed pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §668.43(b);
- a description of any special facilities and services for handicapped students;
- the title of persons designated under 34 C.F.R. §668.44 as those who are available
on a full-time basis to assist enrolled or prospective students in obtaining financial
aid and institutional information; and
- a statement that enrollment in a study-abroad program approved for credit by the
home institution may be considered enrollment at the home institution for purposes
of applying for assistance under Title IV, HEA Programs. The institution must also
make available to any enrolled or prospective student, upon request, a copy of the
documents that describe the institution's accreditation, approval or licensing.
In addition, unless a waiver has been granted (pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §668.45(b)),
the institution must designate an employee or group of employees that must be available
on a full-time basis to assist enrolled or prospective students in obtaining the
financial aid or institutional information specified in 34 C.F.R. §668.43 and
An institution is required to prepare annually information regarding completion
or graduation rates of certificate or degree-seeking full-time undergraduate students.
Institutions whose mission is to prepare students to enroll in another institution
must compile information on its transfer-out rate. Guidance on the methods for determining
the completion/graduation rate and transfer-out rate is provided in 34 C.F.R. §668.45.
An institution must disclose its completion or graduation rate and, as applicable,
transfer-out rate information no later than the July 1 immediately following the
12-month period ending August 31 during which 150% of the normal time for completion
or graduation has elapsed for all of the students in the group on which the institution
bases it completion or graduation rate and, if applicable, the transfer-out rate
In addition, institutions may, but are not required to calculate a completion or
graduation rate for students who transfer in and/or completion or graduation and
transfer-out rates for students who leave to serve in the Armed Forces, on official
church missions, with foreign aid service of the U.S. or who become totally disabled.
Institutions whose mission does not involve preparing students to enroll in another
institution may, if they wish, calculate a transfer-out rate.
The Secretary of Education may grant a waiver of the requirements in this Section
to any institution that is a member of an athletic association or conference that
has voluntarily published the completion or graduation rate data which the Secretary
determines substantially comparable to the data required by this Section. 34 C.F.R.
D. ANNUAL SECURITY REPORT, 20 U.S.C. §1092; 34 C.F.R. §668.47.
The Campus Security Act requires colleges to report crime statistics and other public
safety measures, procedures and policies by October 1 of each year. A description
of enforcement procedures, as well as crime prevention and education programs, including
a campus sexual assault prevention program, must be contained in the Annual Security
Report. This report must be distributed to all students and employees and must be
made available to all prospective students and employees. Crime statistics must
also be reported to the U.S. Secretary of Education per the electronic reporting
procedure established by the Secretary. The Annual Campus Security Report must include:
- Statistics on the occurrence on campus of the specified criminal offenses and disciplinary
referrals set forth in the regulations (34 C.F.R. §668.47(c));
- A statement of current campus policies regarding procedures for reporting criminal
actions or other emergencies on campus and policies concerning the institution's
response, including policies for timely reporting to members of the campus community
the occurrence of crimes which must be reported under Section 668.47(c) and policies
for preparing the annual crime statistics;
- A statement of current policies concerning use and access to campus facilities,
including residences, and security considerations in the maintenance of campus facilities;
- A statement of current policies concerning campus law enforcement, including the
enforcement authority and working relationship with state and local police agencies
and whether security personnel have arrest powers; policies that encourage accurate
and prompt reporting of all crimes to campus police and appropriate police agencies;
and any procedures that allow pastoral and professional counselors to inform people
they are counseling of any procedures for reporting crimes on a voluntary, confidential
- A description of the type and frequency of programs designed to inform students
and employees about campus security procedures and practices and to encourage them
to be responsible for their own security and the security of others;
- A description of programs designed to inform students and employees about the prevention
- A statement of policy about the monitoring and recording of criminal activity at
off-campus locations of student organizations recognized by the institution;
- A statement of policy on the possession, use and sale of alcoholic beverages and
enforcement of underage drinking laws;
- A statement of policy on the possession, use and sale of illegal drugs and enforcement
of federal and state drug laws;
- A description of any drug or alcohol abuse education programs (the institution may
cross-reference the materials the institution uses to comply with Section 120 of
the HEA, codified at 20 U.S.C. §1011(i)).
- A statement of policy regarding the institution's campus sexual assault programs
to prevent sex offenses, and procedures to follow when a sex offense occurs. This
statement must include a description of educational programs to promote the awareness
of rape, acquaintance rape and other forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, procedures
students should follow if a sex offense occurs, information on a student's option
to notify proper law enforcement authorities and a statement that institutional
personnel will assist the student in notifying these authorities if so requested,
notification to students of existing on and off campus counseling, mental health
or other student services for victims of sex offenses, notification to students
that the institution will change a victim's academic and living situations after
an alleged sex offense, and procedures for campus disciplinary action in the case
of alleged sex offenses. These procedures for campus disciplinary actions for alleged
sex offenses must include a clear statement that: (1) the accused and the accuser
are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary
proceeding; (2) both the accuser and the accused must be informed of the outcome
of any institutional disciplinary proceeding alleging a sex offense; and (3) sanctions
that the institution may impose following a final determination of an institutional
disciplinary proceeding regarding rape, acquaintance rape, or other forcible or
non-forcible sex offense.
- A statement advising the campus community where law enforcement agency information
concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. This will usually be the local
Sheriff's Office having primary jurisdiction for the campus. See 42 U.S.C. §14071(j).
Also, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation maintains a searchable web site of registered
sex offenders at http://www.ganet.org/gbi.
- Requirements for the distribution of the annual security report are set forth in
34 C.F.R. §668.47(b). Each campus of an institution must comply separately
with these requirements. The annual security report must contain the required statistics
(34 C.F.R. §668.47(a)(6)) for the three (3) calendar years preceding the year
the report is issued. Current statistics must be compiled with the definitions used
in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program. 34 C.F.R. §668.47(b)(3). Under
Section 668.47(e), an institution must issue timely warnings of reportable crimes
where those warnings may aid in the prevention of similar crimes, or where the crimes
are considered by the institution to represent a threat to students and employees.
E. FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT OF 1974 ("FERPA" or "BUCKLEY
AMENDMENT"), 20 U.S.C. §1232g; 34 C.F.R. §99.1 et. seq.
FERPA regulates the disclosure and maintenance of student records at all institutions
that receive federal funds. Since the focus of this summary is notification requirements,
the various requirements and prohibitions of FERPA are not discussed. For detailed
information and discussion of the requirements imposed by FERPA see:
The annual FERPA notice to students must also include:
- Department of Education Family Compliance Office web site at: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html
- The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, A Legal Compendium Steven
J. McDonald, Editor, published by NACUA
- American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers: http://aacrao.com
- Association for Student Judicial Affairs:
- FERPA's notification provision (34 C.F.R. §99.7) requires post- secondary institutions
to give students an annual notice describing their rights under FERPA. This annual
notice must inform students that they have the right to:
- Inspect and review their education records;
- Request changes to their education records that they believe are inaccurate, misleading
or in violation of the student's privacy rights; and
- Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information from their education
records, except to the extent FERPA allows disclosure without consent (see 34 C.F.R.
§99.63 and 99.64); and
- File a complaint with the Department of Education about the institution's alleged
failure(s) to comply with FERPA.
- the procedure for exercising the right to inspect and review their education records;
- the procedure for requesting amendment of their education records; and
- the institution's policy on disclosing education records to school officials (under
34 C.F.R. §99.31(a)(1)) whom the institution has determined have a legitimate
educational interest in such records. The required annual notice may be made "by
any means that are reasonably likely to inform the
students of their rights."
34 C.F.R. §99.7(b). Institutions must use effective means to notify disabled
students. 34 C.F.R. §99.7(b).