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FERPA

FERPA for Students   FERPA for Parents

FERPA for Faculty/Staff

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

What is FERPA?

FERPA is a federal law that is designed to protect the privacy of students' educational records and to give students access to their records to assure accuracy  The law assigns the student as the owner of their educational record and provides guidelines on how the educational institution is to use and release protected information. This insures that information such as the student’s grades, academic standing, and course schedule are not public information and that the student controls who has access to this information. 

What are student's rights?

FERPA outlines four rights with respect to students Education Records. They are:

1. ACCESS TO EDUCATION RECORDS: students have the right to inspect and review their Education Records within 45 days of the day the University receives a written request for access, anytime after their matriculation.

2. REQUEST FOR AMENDMENT OF EDUCATION RECORDS: students have the right to request amendment of Education Records if they believe the records are inaccurate, misleading or in violation of their privacy rights.

3. DISCLOSURE OF EDUCATION RECORDS: this right protects confidentiality of student records and requires the student's signature to release academic records, such as transcripts.  Some exceptions exist such as school officials who've been determined to have a legitimate educational interest, or information determined to be directory information.  Examples of directory information include: name, addresses, email, telephone numbers, major and/or minor fields of study, degree sought, expected date of completion of degree requirements and graduation, degrees conferred, awards and honors (e.g. Dean's list), full or part time enrollment status, dates of attendance, or photograph.

4. COMPLIANCE: Doane must notify the student annually of their FERPA rights.  Students have the right to contact the Family Policy Compliance Office with complaints concerning the University's compliance with the requirements of FERPA.

What information is public?

The University is allowed to select some information about a student to make accessible to the public. This information is called "Directory Information."  Doane defines Directory Information as:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Addresses: permanent, campus, local (off-campus), and email
  • Associated telephone numbers (home and cell)
  • Hometown and high school attended
  • Major and/or minor fields of study
  • Degree sought
  • Expected date of completion of degree requirements and graduation
  • Degrees conferred
  • Awards and Honors (e.g. Dean’s list)
  • Full or part time enrollment status
  • Dates of attendance
  • Previous institutions attended
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of athletic team members
  • Photograph

What information is confidential?

All other information, than Directory Information, is confidential.  This includes academic standing, country of citizenship, course schedule, gender, GPA, grades, race, religion, SSN, student account, and financial aid information.

What is an Educational Record?

  • Handwritten Notes
  • Computer Files/Generated Information
  • Printed Information
  • Video or Audio
  • Photos
  • Any information maintained in any way about the student

What's information is not considered an Educational Record?

  • "Sole possession" records made by faculty and staff for their own use as reference or memory aids and not shared with others
  • Personal observations
  • University law enforcement records
  • Medical and mental health records used only for the treatment of the student
  • Alumni records
  • Peer graded papers and exams prior to the grade being recorded in the instructor's grade book

Who do I talk to if I have questions?

Questions and concerns can be sent to the Registrar at denise.ellis@doane.edu or 402-826-8251.