FERPA Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law regarding the privacy of student records and the obligations of the institution, primarily in the areas of release of the records and the access provided to these records. Any educational institution that receives funds under any program administered by the U.S. Secretary of Education is bound by FERPA requirements. Institutions that fail to comply with FERPA may have funds administered by the Secretary of Education withheld. IU is committed to the protection and confidentiality of student education records.

What are Education Records?

Education records are directly related to a student and maintained by an institution or its agent for all enrolled students, including those in high school. Education records may exist in any medium (e.g., electronic or digital files including email, paper documents, fax documents, oral conversations, etc…). Education records include such things as graded papers, exams, transcripts, notes from a conversations with or about a student that are placed in a student’s file for others in the department to reference.

Access to Student Education Records

According to FERPA, personally identifiable information in an education record may not be released without prior written consent from the student. Some examples of information that MAY NOT BE RELEASED without prior written consent of the student include:

  • social security number (*classified as critical data)
  • driver's license number (*classified as critical data)
  • university ID number
  • birthdate
  • grades/exam scores
  • GPA
  • current class schedule
  • parent name and address
  • race/ethnicity
  • gender
  • country of citizenship
  • religious affiliation
  • disciplinary status
  • marital status
  • test scores (e.g., SAT, GRE, etc.)

FERPA Tips


  • Do not provide student information to anyone for commercial or research purposes without the written consent of the student. Contact the data steward for questions related to the release of student information.
  • Do not provide student schedules to anyone or assist anyone other than university employees in finding a student on campus. In the event of an emergency, contact the IUPD for assistance.
  • Do not discuss the progress of any student with anyone other than the student or an authorized university employee without the student's written consent.
  • Train classroom assistants (e.g., AIs and GAs) and student workers for FERPA. Direct students to the FERPA tutorial as part of this training.
  • Do not post personal information about students, including grades, in a public place (e.g. school hallway or website).
  • Develop retention practices for sensitive information, keeping only what is necessary.
  • Dispose of material containing confidential student information (tests, papers, class rosters) by shredding or placing them in a receptacle intended for the disposal of confidential information.
  • Refer students and parents to third party access tools which allow students to share information with parents and family members.
  • Verify if a student has filed FERPA restrictions before providing a third party even directory information. For more info see: FERPA Indicator in SIS

FERPA Tutorial

The FERPA tutorial is designed to give employees a base-level knowledge of the rules governing release of student information. This tutorial must be completed before access to student records is granted. The tutorial takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Begin the tutorial.

Other Resources

U.S. Department of Education FERPA Guide

IU Annual Notification of Student Rights

Indiana University Release of Information Policy

Questions?

If you have questions about FERPA, please contact the university data steward for student data datastu@iu.edu or the Registrar at your campus