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FERPA: Student's Frequently Asked Questions

What is FERPA?

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is the Federal law that protects the privacy of a student’s educational records and guarantees student’s access to their own records.

 

What are my rights as a student?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 afford students certain rights with respect to their educational records:

  • To inspect and review the student’s educational records
  • To request the amendment of the student’s educational records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
  • To consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records with limited exceptions
  • To file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning alleged failure to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
  • To know the types of personally identifiable information deemed directory information
  • To refuse to allow the institution to designate the types of directory information

 

Do my parents have the right to access my information?

Although your parents do not have a right to these records, the university is permitted to share these records with the parents if you are a dependent of the parents for federal income tax purposes (Parental Affidavit of Dependancy Form). If you are a dependent, the university is permitted to release records to the parent which includes directory information and non-directory information.

 

How do I restrict access to my directory information?

You should file a written request (Privacy Hold Form) in the Office of the University Registrar during the first twelve class days of a fall or spring semester, or the first four class days of a summer session. Texas State will apply the request to your records until you notify the Office of the University Registrar otherwise.

 

What is “directory information”?

Directory information is student information that may be released without the consent of the student, unless the student has requested a privacy hold. Directory information includes the following:
 

  • Name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Fields of study, including major and minor
  • Enrollment status (actual hours enrolled, undergraduate, graduate, etc.)
  • Degrees, certificates, and awards received
  • Type of award received (academic, technical, continuing education, etc.)
  • Dates of attendance
  • Student classification
  • Name of the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended
  • Telephone, including cell phone, number
  • Current and permanent addresses
  • Weight and height of athletes
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Names of prospective graduates
  • Names of parents
  • Photographs of students
  • Any other records that could be treated as directory information under FERPA

 

What can NOT be released without my written consent?

Personally identifiable information in an education record will not be released without your written consent. This information includes the following:

  • Social Security number
  • Student identification number
  • Gender
  • Race, ethnicity, and/or nationality
  • Transcripts
  • Grade reports
  • Diploma
  • GPA
  • E-mail address

 

How can I give access to my student records?

There are three options:

  1. The student can give their parent access through Texas State Self-Service to view their information. This action requires the student’s password which must be given to the parent by the student.
  2. The student can provide the parent with written consent. (Grant Access to Student Records Form)*
  3. The parent can provide proof that they claim the student on their income tax by filling out a Parental Affidavit of Dependacy Form* in order to obtain the student’s academic information.

*This document is required each time information is requested.

 

Where would I find additional FERPA information?

Texas State University UPPS
U.S. Department of Education