FERPA: Annual Notification to Students
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) guarantees that the academic records for students over 18 years old cannot be discussed with anyone except the student or authorized University personnel. However, certain information classified as “Directory Information” is available for public consumption unless the student specifically directs that it be withheld. Public Directory Information as defined by the act includes: Student’s name, addresses (campus, home, email), telephone listings, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, class year, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate; full-time, half-time, part-time), degrees, honors, and awards received, and the most recent previous educational institution attended.
To request that directory information be withheld, please contact the Registrar’s Office.
Federal and State Data Collection and Use
As of Jan. 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which student education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records —including Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without student consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to records and PII without student consent to any third party designated by a federal or state authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, federal and state authorities may allow access to education records and PII without student consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when authorities object to or do not request such research. Federal and state authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive PII, but the authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, state authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without student consent PII from education records, and they may track participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information obtained from other federal or state data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.