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FERPA

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a postsecondary institution, regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer from the parent to the student. This means that parents may not obtain any of your education records without your written consent. Because your grades are part of the education record, they are protected under FERPA and, therefore, may not be released to parents.

Under FERPA, institutions must not release educational records—except under certain circumstances—without written consent from you. This regulation does not apply to information that the University has identified as directory information (e.g., name, address, phone number, major) unless you have blocked disclosure of such information .

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Your primary rights under FERPA are:

• The right to inspect and review your education records

• The right to request the amendment of inaccurate or otherwise inappropriate education records

• The right to have some control over the disclosure of information from education records

• You can grant rights to parents and others under FERPA.

FERPA does provide an exception for parents of dependent students. After providing proof of dependency, parents may have access to their student’s academic record. To prove that the student is a “dependent,” a copy of the parent’s most recent tax form containing the student’s name must be submitted.

How do I request that directory information be withheld?

Under FERPA, an institution is permitted to release directory information

(e.g. name, address, phone number, major) without written consent from you. However, you have the right to prevent this release. You must complete and sign the Request to Withhold Directory Information form (found on the Registrar’s website www.registrar.psu.edu under “student forms”) to keep directory information confidential. The signed form must be taken in person or mailed along with a copy of photo identification, to any campus Registrar’s office. If an e-mail address is provided, official notification will be sent to you when the directory hold is in effect. It is important to note that withholding directory information has the following consequences:

• Your name/address is excluded from the Penn State online directory and printed telephone directory;

• Your name will not appear in the commencement program;

• Verification of enrollment, graduation, or degrees awarded will not be provided to third parties, including potential employers; and

• No information about you will be released to any person on the telephone or via e-mail.

How do I remove a request to withhold directory information?

If you later wish to remove the directory hold, you must complete and sign the Request to Release Directory Information form found on the Registrar’s website www.registrar.psu.edu under “Student Forms”. The signed form may be taken in person or mailed along with a copy of photo identification, to any campus Registrar’s office. If an e-mail address is provided, notification will be sent to you when the directory hold is removed.

 

Please view the University’s  Policy on Confidentiality of Student Records AD11 for more information on FERPA

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