An institution that offers distance or correspondence education documents each of the following: (Distance and correspondence education)

4.8.2 has a written procedure for protecting the privacy of students enrolled in distance and correspondence education courses or programs. 

Compliance Judgment

X      In compliance     Partially compliant     Non-compliant


Francis Marion University abides by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and publishes its privacy policies in multiple publications, both in print and online in its catalog, student handbook, and website.

Francis Marion University is in compliance with all of FERPA 1974, as amended, guidelines protecting the privacy of student information and educational records. It also outlines the student privacy rights for all students taking courses through traditional means, as well as online on the Registrar’s Office website [1].

Francis Marion University does not offer correspondence courses.

At orientation, students also receive a copy of the most current university catalog, which contains the privacy policy for all students, including those taking online courses [2].  The catalog is also published on the Francis Marion website so all students have accessibility. Privacy information is also published in the student handbook [3] and course schedules [4], which are published each academic term both in print and online. Additionally, Campus Technology publishes the “Acceptable Technology Resource Use Policy” [5] and “Distance Education Policy on Student Privacy and Student Authentication” [6] on its website. These policies define student responsibilities and obligations with “respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms and individuals’ rights to privacy and to freedom from intimidation and harassment” and refer the student again to the Francis Marion Honor Code and Standards of Academic Conduct [7].

There have not been any concerns about privacy expressed or complaints filed.


  1. Francis Marion University FERPA Policy Statement
  2. Privacy of Student Educational Records, Catalog 2016-2017, p. 59
  3. FERPA/Directory Information, Student Handbook 2016-2017, p. 13
  4. Disclosure of Directory Information, Spring 2017 Course Catalog, p. 4
  5. Acceptable Technology Resource Use Policy
  6. FMU Website, ResNet
  7. Student Handbook 2016-2017, p. 59