Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA is a federal law designed to provide students with greater access to and control over information contained in their education records. This law prohibits the release of certain information without express written consent from the student. Public information may be shared at the College’s discretion and is defined in the catalog.


Q: What does FERPA mean for students?

A: FERPA makes four guarantees to students. These rights include the following:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
  • The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • 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.


Q: What does FERPA mean for staff and faculty?

A: FERPA outlines a set of rules for how and when personal information should be disclosed.

Only access those education records you need to access as part of your job.

Do not post grades publicly. The public posting of grades either by the student’s name, student number, or social security number without the student’s written permission is a violation of FERPA.

Do not email grade information. There is no guarantee of confidentiality on the Internet.

Do not release without written authorization any of the following:

  • Student number
  • Grades/Exam Scores
  • Grade Point Average
  • Social Security Number
  • Parent Address/Phone
  • Detail of Registration Information (i.e., courses, times)
  • Race, Ethnicity, or Nationality
  • Gender
  • Date of Birth
  • Total Credits
  • Number of Credits Enrolled in a Quarter
  • Emergency Contact

Directory (or public) information falls under a different category. If the student has not restricted access to directory information, you may release the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • E-mail address
  • Enrollment status
  • Degrees & awards received
  • Most recent previous school attended

If a student has blocked release of directory information, you may not release any information about that student. We recommend you say, “I have no information about that individual.”

Departments may not release non-directory or personally identifiable information about a student to a third party (parents included) without the student’s written authorization. You may have the student fill out a consent-to-release form if the student wants you to speak with a third party. The student must sign a new form each time s/he allows you to release non-directory information.


Q: What should I do if I see a FERPA breach or have more questions?

A: FERPA issues are sometimes confusing and the correct course of action is not always clear. You do not have to navigate the muddy FERPA waters alone. If you encounter a FERPA breach or need more clarification, email the Registrar’s Office for guidance. We are here to help.


Q: Where can I learn more about FERPA?

A: Full regulations can be found Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Regulations PDF.

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