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Policies & Procedures

FERPA  |  What is an educational Record?  |  What is Directory Information  |  Repeat Surcharge  |  Excess Credit Hour Surcharge  |  Collection of SSN  |  Forgiveness Policy  |  Graduate Inclusion Form Appeal Late Drop  |  SAP Appeal
2012-2013 Rules and Regulations

The 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA Annual Notice


The 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232(g), as amended, also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law  that protects the privacy of a student’s educational record. FERPA applies to all educational institutions receiving funds from the United States Department of Education, from kindergarten through university level.

At Florida International University, the privacy of academic records is also protected by University Regulation (FIU-108) and Section 1002.22 of the Florida Statutes.

The U.S. Department of Education and Florida law summarizes the rights afforded to students by FERPA as follow:

  • The right to inspect and review their educational records within a reasonable period of time and no more than 30 days after the institution has received the request
  • The right to request to amend inaccuracies in their educational records
  • The right to limit disclosure of some personally identifiable information
  • The rights to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office if they feel their FERPA rights have been violated. 

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

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

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An education record is any record directly related to a student that is maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting for the agency or institution.

Examples of an education record include, but are not limited to:

    • Biographical information including date and place of birth, gender, nationality, information about race and ethnicity, and identification photographs
    • Grades, test scores, evaluations, courses taken, academic specialization and activities, and official communications regarding your status
    • Coursework including papers and exams, class schedules, as well as written email or recorded communications that are part of the academic process
    • Disciplinary records
    • Financial aid and financial aid records
    • Internship program records

 Education records do not include:

    • Sole possession records that are used only as memory aids and not shared with others
    • Law enforcement unit records
    • Employment records, unless the employment is dependent on the employee’s status as a student (such as evaluations of graduate assistants)
    • Medical and mental health records used only for the treatment of the student and disclosed only to those individuals providing treatment
    • Records that only contain information about an individual after he or she is no longer a student at that agency or institution

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Directory information is the information available about a student that is not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. While FERPA and state law protect the privacy of educational records, directory information is not treated as confidential and may be disclosed by the university without student consent unless the student has placed a FERPA block via their my.fiu.edu on their student account.  For instructions regarding the placement and release of a FERPA block please click here.

Instructions to place or release FERPA Block: 

Instructions for placing FERPA block

  1. Log on to www.my.fiu.edu
  2. Click on ‘Main Menu’ located under the ‘Student Tab
  3. Click on ‘Campus Solutions Self Service
  4. Locate and click on ‘ Campus Personal Information’ icon
  5. Click on ‘FERPA Restrictions
  6. Scroll down to the lower portion of the page, click on ‘Edit FERPA / Directory Restrictions
  7. Make adjustments by checking off preferred blocks
  8. Click on ‘SAVE’ icon located towards the lower portion of the page when you have completed your selections

At FIU, the following has been designated as directory information:

    • Name, local and permanent address, and telephone number(s);
    • Date and place of birth;
    • Student classification and major and minor fields of study;
    • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports;
    • Weight and height of members of athletic teams;
    • Dates of attendance, degrees and awards received;
    • The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student; and
    • Photographic image.

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Repeat Surcharge

The 1997 Legislature passed House Bill 1545 mandates that undergraduate students pay additional charges for the third time a student either takes or attempts a college credit course. Any undergraduate course taken, beginning Fall 1997, and all courses taken after this date will be subject to the repeat surcharge. Attempted hours mean those hours dropped/withdrawn after the drop/add period or failed. Withdrawals, incompletes, and dropped courses will be subject to the tuition surcharge, if they are fee-liable. All students are included regardless of type or residency. Undergraduate courses are 1000 to 4000 level courses.


  • Any course work taken prior to Fall 1997
  • Credits earned through - cooperative education, military, waivers, audits, individualized study, courses that are repeated as a requirement of a major (except courses repeated more than times to increase GPA or meet minimum course grade requirements), courses intended to continue over multiple semesters
  • Attempts taken at previous institutions prior to enrolling at FIU
  • Any non fee-liable withdrawal or dropped course
  • Graduate level courses (courses at 5000 level or above)

Effective Summer 2000, Universities may make exceptions based on extenuating circumstances and financial hardships. Students wishing to appeal the repeat course surcharge may complete a “Repeat Charge Appeal” by logging into the MyFIU portal.  The appeal can be found in the Student Center under the box labeled “Academics.”

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Excess Credit Hour Surcharge

In 2009, the Florida Legislature implemented Section 1009.286, Florida Statutes to encourage students to complete their baccalaureate degree as quickly and efficiently as possible. It established what is commonly referred to as an "Excess Credit Hour Surcharge." The bill requires universities to add a surcharge to each credit hour taken in excess of the total number of credit hours required to complete the degree being pursued. The amount in excess of the total hours is calculated based on a percentage defined in law.

Semester You Entered FIU as an Undergraduate or any SUS/FCS school* Threshold Percentage
(Percentage of the hours required by the state to complete your degree)
Surcharge Percentage
(Additional percentage of your tuition for each semester credit taken above the threshold)
Before and including Summer 2009 Not applicable Not applicable
Between and including Fall 2009 to Summer 2011 120% of the minimum hours required for degree Additional 50% on top of normal tuition rate
Between and including Fall 2011 to Summer 2012 115% of the minimum hours required for degree Additional 100% on top of normal tuition rate
Fall 2012 and later 110% of the minimum hours required for degree Additional 100% on top of normal tuition rate

*Students Entering as FTIC SUS (First Time in College within the University System of Florida) or FTIC FCS (First Time in College Florida College System)

 Example: A student who was admitted in Summer 2012 (to FIU or any SUS school) will have to pay double their tuition per credit once they reach 139th credit (assuming the degree is only 120 credits to complete).

The surcharge is assessed only on the tuition portion of the semester hour cost, not on the fees.

Students who are eligible for the Excess Hours Surcharge and break continuous enrollment after fall 2012 by not enrolling for two consecutive semesters and not registering for the third consecutive semester before the first day of that term will, upon their return to the University, be subject to the 110% credit hour threshold and 100% surcharge. 

 Under Florida law, the following credit hours count towards Excess Credit Hours:  

  • Failed courses
  • Hours dropped after the University's drop/add period 
  • Courses from which a student withdraws 
  • Repeated courses. Exception: repeated courses for which the student has paid the repeat course surcharge as provided in Section 1009.285, Florida Statutes 
  • All credit earned at another institution and accepted for transfer and applied toward the baccalaureate degree program 

 Under Florida law, the following credit hours do not count towards Excess Credit Hours: 

  • College credit earned through articulated accelerated mechanisms such as AP, IB, CLEP,AICE, or dual enrollment
  • Credit hours earned through internship
  • Credit hours required for certification, recertification, or certificate programs 
  • Courses from which the student withdraws for reasons of medical or personal hardship 
  • Credit taken by active-duty military personnel 
  • Credit hours taken to achieve a dual major while pursuing a baccalaureate degree 
  • Remedial and English-as-a-second-language credit hours 
  • Credit hours earned while participating in a Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC) program 

 The number of hours required for the baccalaureate degree will be identified by the students declared major.  This is typically 120 semester hours, although, some programs have been approved to require more than 120 semester hours. 

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Collection and Use of SSN

Notification of Collection and Usage of
Social Security Number from Students
for Undergraduate Admissions,
Registration and Financial Aid

Florida law provides that Florida International University (FIU) must notify students of the purposes for which FIU collects social security numbers. This notice is to inform you that with respect to admissions, registration, and financial aid, FIU collects social security numbers from its students for the following reasons:

  • For use in processing admission applications for purposes of identification and verification of student records;
  • For use in administering federal and state programs/loans, including verification
    of eligibility. These programs include, but are not limited to:
    • Financial Aid and other related loan programs;
    • Scholarship Programs, including Bright Futures; and
    • Veterans Administration benefits for qualified students
  • For use in complying with IRS Reporting Requirements pertaining to the Hope Scholarship Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit provided under federal legislation;
  • For use in preparing Student Enrollment Reports required to be submitted to the National Student Loan Data System under Federal Law;
  • For use in providing official student transcripts to authorized third parties (i.e. educational institutions and employers upon receipt of required releases) for
    student identification purposes;
  • For enrollment verification and eligibility for health insurance coverage, auto insurance coverage, and benefits, as requested by students.
  • For submitting reports to the Florida Board of Governors as required.

Please note that this is only a listing of the collection and use of social security numbers by the University in the admissions, registration, and financial aid areas. All students are advised that social security numbers are confidential and may only be released in accordance with applicable law.

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Forgiveness Policy

What is the forgiveness policy?

  • While all attempts at a course are recorded on your transcript, only the last attempt using the Forgiveness Policy is calculated in your final grade point average (GPA). All undergraduate students have three opportunities to use the Forgiveness Policy. The Forgiveness Policy only applies to a repeat attempt of the exact same course (same prefix and course number, unless the number has been changed in the University Catalog). The Forgiveness Policy cannot be used once the degree has been awarded.
  • The forgiveness policy is not available for graduate students.

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Graduate Inclusion Form

What is an inclusion form?

  • This form is used by the academic units to notify the Office of the Registrar what credits, taken prior to a students' admission, are part of a graduate academic program. If you have taken any graduate courses as a non-degree seeking student, your advisor will need to review your records and inform us which are approved for your degree.

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Appeal Late Drop

A student may appeal the deadline for a late drop by submitting the Appeal to Drop/Withdraw form. A drop after the deadline will be approved only in the following exceptional circumstances:

  • Death of a student or immediate family member (parent, spouse, child, sibling). Death certificate required.
  • Involuntary call to military service. Copy of orders required.
  • Illness of student of such severity or duration to preclude completion of courses. Confirmation by a physician required.

The deadline to submit appeals is six months after the end of the term in which the course was taken. Once the six months have passed the student has reached the Statue of Limitations and can no longer appeal. Student must contact the OneStop Department (MMC-PC 130 or BBC-AC1 - 100) to obtain the form and submit provide appropriate documentation.

Please complete the form and follow the instructions on the document as you may need to submit the documents in two seperate places. 

Financial Aid Recipients: If your appeal is approved and you have a change in your enrollment (i.e. a class(es) has been removed), please note that any refunds you received from financial aid will need to be returned to FIU as soon as possible to avoid being sent to collections. 

Board of Governors Regulations; BOG 7.002

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Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Academic Progress Policy

The Office of Financial Aid is required by federal and state regulations to monitor the academic progress of potential and current financial aid recipients. Financial aid applicants must comply with the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy as a condition of initial or continued eligibility. Please note that even if a student has not currently applied for financial aid, or is not currently receiving aid, this policy applies and prior academic progress will be evaluated to determine eligibility for financial aid.

Satisfactory academic progress is measured both qualitatively and quantitatively. The qualitative measure requires maintaining a satisfactory grade point average. The quantitative measure requires successfully completing a required ratio of attempted credits and receiving a degree in a timely manner.

For the purpose of maintaining financial aid eligibility, the following defines attempted credits and successful completion of attempted credits:

Attempted Credits include all credits with the following grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, P, F, FO, IN, IP, NR, DF, DP, WF, WP, DR, WI

Successful completion includes credits with the following grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D- or P


1. If a course requires a grade of “C” or higher, any grades below this will not count as a successful completion of that course.

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Repeat Course Policy for Financial Aid

Changes in federal regulations (34 CFR Section 668.2) now require that the  Financial Aid Office monitor and adjust a student’s enrollment level for Title IV aid if, or when, they repeat course work for credit that they have already earned. Students can retake courses and receive federal aid if they had previously failed a course, but can only receive financial aid one more time for a course that has been previously passed. A passing grade is defined as D- or better. Please note that the repeat course policy for financial aid is separate from institutional academic polices regarding repeat courses.

The policy allows a student to receive financial aid under the following situations:

  • To repeat any failed course until a passing grade is received.
  • To repeat one time any course in which you previously received a passing grade.

Please Note: Regardless of the grade received, courses are not eligible to be covered by financial aid after a 2nd attempt has been made for a course that has at any time previously earned a passing grade.

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