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FERPA. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or Buckley Amendment. What is FERPA?. A federal law that requires the College, with certain exceptions, to obtain a students written permission before disclosing personally identifiable information from his/her academic record.

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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or Buckley Amendment

what is ferpa
What is FERPA?
  • A federal law that requires the College, with certain exceptions, to obtain a students written permission before disclosing personally identifiable information from his/her academic record.
directory information
Directory Information
  • Information that can be released without written permission because it is not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy.
  • This information is often released to banks, insurance institutions, potential employers and similar businesses.
directory information4
Directory Information
  • The College does NOT sell or distribute mailing lists of its students or employees to marketers.
directory information5
Directory Information
  • Student name, postal addresses (not residence hall addresses), phone numbers and electronic mail addresses
  • Major, academic advisor, dates of attendance, full/part time enrollment, degree and awards received.
directory information6
Directory Information
  • Most recent previous school attended.
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports; height, weight and photographs of members of athletic teams.
confidential record
Confidential Record
  • Students who need to protect all of their information including directory information may do so in writing or in person at the Registrar’s Office.
  • Confidential Flags are placed on a student’s record within 48 hours.
ferpa and you
FERPA and you.
  • You are the guardian of student records and must adhere to FERPA.
  • You can give non-directory student information to the Department Chair and to the student’s advisor.
  • You CANNOT give non-directory information to anyone else, including the instructor of a course the student is enrolled in.
definitions student
Definitions: Student
  • Any individual who is or has been in attendance at Oneonta and for whom we maintain an educational record.
definitions educational record
Definitions: Educational Record
  • Information that is recorded and maintained in any way.
  • Handwritten, printed documents, computer images or data, e-mail, video or film, photographs, audio tape or microfilm or microfiche.
definitions educational record11
Definitions: Educational Record
  • A record specifically identifies a person, place or thing.
  • An Educational Record directly identifies a student and
  • Is maintained by the institution or educational agency or by a party acting for the institution.
definitions educational record exceptions
Definitions: Educational Record Exceptions
  • Sole Possession Records (records kept in a file marked “desk notes” that only the owner has access to.
  • Law Enforcement Records.
  • Employment Records.
  • Medical Records.
  • Alumni Records.
ferpa and you13
FERPA and you
  • All material containing personally identifiable information MUST be destroyed.
  • When purging advisee folders or anything personally identifiable, they must not be thrown out, they MUST be destroyed.
  • Never discuss grades, academic standing or anything else about a student over the phone or via e-mail.
ferpa don ts
  • Faculty members CANNOT leave graded course work in a box in the Department Office for students to pick up. Graded work must be returned to students individually.
  • Faculty members CANNOT use the name, SS# or the A# or any part thereof when posting grades.
ferpa don ts15
  • Students MAY NOT handle grade change forms or any forms dealing with grading.
  • TA’s may not participate in grading or distribution of graded material.
  • If you have logged into Banner and you are leaving your office, DO NOT leave your Banner session open, you must log out.
simple rules
Simple Rules
  • When in doubt, don’t give information out.
  • Never give non-directory information to an outside agency.
  • Call the Registrar’s Office if you have a question.
ferpa quiz
  • Time to test you FERPA knowledge.
question 1
Question 1
  • If a student's parent calls asking how a student is doing in a class, can you give out that information?
  • Even though the person inquiring may be the student's parent, FERPA recognizes students in secondary education as adults, regardless of age. Therefore, you cannot discuss the students progress, grades, or any other non-directory information.

General Rule: You must assume that the student is an adult who is entitled to privacy, even from parents.

question 2
Question 2
  • You receive a call from a recruiting firm asking for names and address of students with a GPA of 3.0 or better. They say they have good job information for these students. Can you help these students get jobs by giving out this information?
  • While we all want to help students to get good jobs, that request should be sent to the Registrar's Office.

GENERAL RULE: Do not give out student information that pertains to grade point average to anyone without prior written consent from that student. In this case the request should be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar. ALL outside requests for any information must be referred to the Office of the Registrar. Information about the recruiting firm could be provided to the students through the Career Development Office.

question 3
Question 3
  • You receive a phone call from the police indicating that they are trying to determine whether a particular student was in attendance on a specific day. Since they are in the middle of an investigation are you allowed to give them this information?
  • Requests from an off-campus police agency should be directed to the Carol Blazina, Assistant to the President. University Police should be directed to Steve Perry, Vice President for Student Development.

GENERAL RULE: Information about whether or not a student is enrolled in a particular semester is directory information, and can be obtained through the Office of the Registrar. A student's class schedule is NOT directory information and cannot be given out without the student's written permission. If the police require more information, a subpoena may be required. All subpoena's should be directed to the Registrar's Office. The Registrar's Office will respond to the subpoena after consultation with University Council. Additionally, FERPA requires notification to the student, unless the subpoena specifically prohibits such notification.

question 4
Question 4
  • You receive a frantic call from an individual who says that he is a students father and he must get in touch with his daughter immediately because of a family emergency. Can you tell him when and where his daughter’s next class is?
  • For the safety of the student you cannot tell another person where a student is at any given time. Inform the caller he/she should contact the Student Development Office (607) 436-2514 for assistance.


  • The Student Development Office will follow a prescribed policy to assist the caller and protect the student’s privacy.
question 5
Question 5
  • May an instructor leave graded materials in a pick up box in the Department Office for students to retrieve?
  • That is a violation of the privacy rule because it is inappropriate for students to have access to other students’ information.


  • You cannot leave personally identifiable materials in a public place, even in a box in the department office. Graded material must be returned to the student personally.
question 6
Question 6
  • An unauthorized person retrieves information from a computer screen that was left unattended. Under FERPA, is the institution responsible?
  • Information on a computer screen should be protected the same way as printed reports are. Computer programs with confidential information should be closed when you are not in your office and printed reports should be filed in a secure area and not left on your desk.

General Rule:

  • The medium in which the information is held is unimportant. No information should be left accessible or unattended, including computer displays.
quiz complete
Quiz Complete.
  • You are now well on your way to becoming a FERPA expert. Please remember the simple rule, “When in doubt, don’t give the information out.”
ferpa online
FERPA online
  • Information about the our institutional FERPA policy and directory information listing is available on the Registrar’s home page.
  • www.oneonta.edu/registrar