Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
. What is FERPA?
. What are and are not educational records?
. How many types of educational records are there?
. What is directory information at Trinity?
. How can a student withold directory information?
. What rights do parents have under FERPA?
. What information can we release without student consent?
. What documents does a student not have a right to see?
. What if I have a question on what can or cannot be released under FERPA?
What is FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974), as amended?
- The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records
- FERPA is a Federal Law
- It applies to all educational agencies or institutions that receive funds under any program administered by the Secretary of Education
What are education records?
Educational records are directly related to the student and are either maintained by the school or by a party or organization acting on behalf of the school. Such records may include:
- Written documents; (including student advising folders)
- Computer media;
- Microfilm and microfiche;
- Video or audio tapes or CDs;
Any record that contains personally identifiable information that is directly related to the student is an educational record under FERPA. This information can also include records kept by the school in the form of student files, student system databases kept in storage devices such as servers, or recordings or broadcasts which may include student projects.
What are not considered education records?
The following items are not considered educational records under FERPA:
- Private notes of individual staff or faculty; (NOT kept in student advising folders)
- Campus police records;
- Medical records;
- Statistical data compilations that contain no mention of personally identifiable information about any specific student.
- Employment records when employment is not contingent on being a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual's employment
- Information on a person that was obtained when no longer a student (i.e., alumni records) and does not relate to the person as a student
Faculty notes, data compilation, and administrative records kept exclusively by the maker of the records that are not accessible or revealed to anyone else are not considered educational records and, therefore, fall outside of the FERPA disclosure guidelines.
How Many Types of Education Records Are There?
There are two types of educational records as defined under FERPA. Each type of educational record is afforded different disclosure protections.
Some information in a student's educational record is defined as directory information under FERPA. This is information contained in an educational record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Under a strict reading of FERPA, a school may disclose this type of information without the written consent of the student. However, a student may exercise the option to restrict the release of directory information by submitting a formal request to the school to limit disclosure.
Non-directory information is any educational record not considered directory information. Non-directory information must not be released to anyone, including parents of the student, without the prior written consent of the student. Further, faculty and staff can access non-directory information only if they have a legitimate academic need to do so.
Trinity Christian College Directory Information
Directory information includes:
- Student's full name
- College assigned e-mail address
- Telephone listings
- Date and place of birth
- Major field of study
- Degrees and awards received
- Dates of attendance
- Most recent previous school attended
- Classification: Full-time or Part-time
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
Non-directory information may include:
- Social security numbers;
- Student identification number;
- Race, ethnicity, and/or nationality;
- Transcripts; grade reports
Transcripts are non-directory information and, therefore, are protected educational records under FERPA. Students have a right to privacy regarding transcripts held by the school where third parties seek transcript copies.
How can a student request that their information be withheld?
What rights do parents have under FERPA?
- FERPA gives certain rights to parents regarding their children's educational records.
- Rights transfer to the student
. upon reaching 18 years of age or
. attending any school beyond the secondary level.
- When may a parent access a student's educational records?
- How can a parent access student information if the student is not being claimed by either parent for Federal income tax purposes?
- A parent may access student information but may not act on the student's behalf except in emergency situations.
What information can be released without student consent?
- The law allows disclosure without consent to:
- School employees who have a legitimate educational interest
- Other schools, upon request, in which a student is seeking or intending to enroll
- Accrediting organizations
- Organizations doing certain studies for or on behalf of the University
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student to determine eligibility, amount or conditions of financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of aid.
- Parents when a student over 18 is still a dependent (see additional information under parental rights)
- Certain government officials of the U. S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with an audit, authorized representatives of the U. S. Attorney General for law enforcement purposes or state or federally supported education programs
- Individuals who have obtained a judicial order or subpoena
- School officials who have a need to know concerning disciplinary action taken against a student
- Appropriate parties who need to know in cases of health and safety emergencies when necessary to protect the health and safety of the student and/or others
- State and local authorities, within the juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law
- Alleged victim of a crime of violence the results of a disciplinary proceeding with respect to that crime
- Parent or legal guardian of a student under the age of 21, information regarding any violation of university policy or state, federal or local law, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance
- Those requesting directory information on a student provided the student has not requested his or her information be withheld
What documents does a student not have a right to see?
- Financial information submitted by parents
- Confidential letters and recommendations placed in student's file before 1/1/75
- Confidential letters, etc., associated with admissions, employment, job placement or honors to which a student has waived rights of inspection and review
- Educational records containing information about other students such as
If you have any questions on what you can or cannot release, check with the registrar's office (X4758).