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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 prohibits Utah State University from releasing certain personally identifiable information from a student’s record to a third party (e.g. parent, spouse, etc.) without the student’s explicit consent.

This law, commonly referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment,(1) provides that students will have access to inspect and review their educational records and (2) protects the rights of a student to privacy by limiting access to the educational record without express written consent.

Definitions

A student is defined as any individual who is attending or has attended Utah State University. (Note: Certain rights are extended to the parent(s) of a dependent student, where dependency is defined by Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.)

An educational record is any record (1) directly related to a student, and (2) maintained by Utah State University or by an agent of the University.

Notices

With respect to a student's educational records, FERPA affords a student the right:

  1. To inspect and review the student's educational records;
  2. To request the amendment of the student's educational records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights;
  3. To consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent;
  4. If a complaint cannot be resolved within the University, to file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by Utah State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA;
  5. The Student Records Policy and Procedures for Utah State University is available in the General Catalog.

Categories of records

There are two categories of educational records under FERPA. Directory information (or releasable information) is general information that may be released to anyone without consent of the student, unless the student indicates otherwise. Personally identifiable information (or non releasable information) includes all information not defined as directory information and may not generally be released without consent of the student. The following is considered releasable information/directory information at Utah State University:

  • Name
  • User ID (A-Number)
  • Local & Permanent Address
  • Electronic Mail Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Most Recent Institution Attended
  • Residency Status
  • Degrees & Awards Received
  • Academic Level
  • Major Field of Study
  • Department and/or College
  • Enrollment Status (Undergraduate or Graduate, Full-time or Part-time)
  • Participation in Official Activities/Sports
  • Dates of Attendance & Graduation
  • Weight/Height of Members of Athletic Teams
  • Photographs

Directory information is considered public information. However, the University does not release lists of students or name-and-address labels or e-mail lists to businesses or agencies outside the University.

Students may control the release of directory information by completing forms at the Registrar's Office. Students may remove a Privacy Hold by visiting the Registrar's Office in person. Students accessing educational records must provide identification. It is important to note that for educational purposes, University Officials have access to all student records. For additional information contact the Registrar's Office TSC 246 or (435) 797-1116.

FERPA protects student’s rights by ensuring we don’t release any information to anyone without their consent; that includes parents. In order for parents to have access to this information, students will need to go to myid.usu.edu, and assign a delegate. Alternatively, parents can submit a Parent Declaration of Student Dependency form.
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