As soon as a college or university student is charged within the school’s disciplinary system records are being generated. These include records of the incident (criminal or otherwise), reports of university officials, statements, complaints, charging documents and then the ultimate sanction – be it probation or suspension or expulsion.
Fortunately, these records are considered “educational records” and are NOT public. They are kept confidential by the university pursuant Federal Law. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), protects the rights of confidentiality in a student’s educational records and governs circumstances when they can be disclosed. This confidentiality has exceptions – for example, these records may be released to other universities or colleges for enrollment purposes.
Also, if the same incident resulted in an arrest and the student is over 18 then all the arrest and court information is public. For further discussion about the benefits and pitfalls of sealing and expunging arrest records, see my most current newsletter.
If you have questions about college or university discipline records or criminal records you should contact an attorney who can explain the effects these records have on a student.