Commonly called FERPA and sometimes referred to as the Buckley amendment, this Act was passed by Congress in 1974 and grants rights to adult students.
- The right to see the information that the institution is keeping on the student
- The right to seek amendment to those records, and in certain cases append a statement to the record
- The right to consent to disclosure of his/her records
- The right to file a complaint with the FERPA office in Washington, D.C.
Maintaining confidentiality of student records is and must be a top priority for all academic advisors, as well as others with access to protected student information.
What is a Student Record?
- Any information provided by a student to the university for use in the educational process
- Personal information
- Enrollment records
- The storage media in which this information is found does not matter
- Document in the Registrar's office
- Class list on your desktop
- Notes taken during an advisement session
- Computer printout in your office
- Computer display screen
The Basic Rules of FERPA
- Student educational records are confidential and may not be released without consent of the student.
- As a member of this educational community, advisors have the responsibility to protect educational records in your possession.
- Advisors have access to information only for legitimate use in completion of job responsibilities.
- If you are ever in doubt, do not release any information until you talk to the Registrar or the staff in the Registrar's office or refer the request to that office.
The key to FERPA is to never discuss or disseminate a student's academic progress or situation with anyone other than the student without consent of the student. (Special note: a student's parents do not have a right to the student's educational records without the student providing PSU with consent to release this information.)
To assist students in providing consent, PSU has eProxy. eProxy allows information that is protected by FERPA be accessed by a third party with the consent of the student. Using eProxy (Authorized Release of University Records) in the GUS system allows a student to provide a third party with online access to the following information:
- Class schedule
- Tuition and fee information
- Financial aid information
The student indicates what information may be shared and designates who may access this information. All of this is done electronically. eProxy does not allow advisors to discuss with a third party anything about a student's educational record or progress.