Federal law allows students to access their educational records and limits the ability of others to access those records. The law is called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or "FERPA." This law is also sometimes called "the Buckley Amendment," after Senator Buckley, a sponsor of the original 1974 bill. Arizona has incorporated FERPA in its statute, A.R.S. § 15-141, governing the right to review educational records.
FERPA applies to all records that fall within its broad definition of "educational records." Student educational records at ASU include all records directly related to a student that are maintained by or for ASU. Records can be in any medium, including handwritten notes, paper files, e-mail, electronic files, video or audio tapes, microfilm or microfiche. The records are not limited to those in "official" files and include records maintained in any ASU office or file. With limited exceptions, a student can see every educational record ASU has that is directly related to that student. Limitations on student's rights to inspect and review education records are described in SSM 107-01.
Although FERPA protects student privacy by limiting access to student records, FERPA allows ASU to disclose some information about a student, unless the student has taken steps to restrict that disclosure. This information is called "directory information." The information that ASU can disclose as directory information is listed in SSM 107-01. A student may restrict the disclosure of directory information by filing a written form with the Registrar.
FERPA protects student privacy rights in grades and other identifying information, such as student identification numbers. For information about posting grades, see ACD 304-01.
If you receive a subpoena, public records request, phone call or any other request for information about a student, please forward the request to the Office of the Registrar or the Office of General Counsel. In most circumstances, the university must notify the student of the request and of our intent to provide information. A law enforcement subpoena may provide that the student not be notified. Limits on the re-disclosure of information provided by ASU are described in SSM 107-01.
The parent of a university student is not generally entitled to receive information about the student, even if the student is younger than 18 years old. To obtain this information the parent will need the student's consent. The parent of a dependent student may file an Affidavit of Dependency for the Release of Records with the Registrar's Office as described in SSM 203-08.
Students may have access to information about them in university records, unless the information is protected by an exception in SSM 107-01. If the record contains information about other students, that information must be redacted or otherwise kept from view of the reviewing student. A student may challenge the content of an educational record only on the grounds that the record is inaccurate, misleading, or a violation of privacy. The procedure for challenging a record is described in SSM 107-01.
FERPA provides for the loss of federal funding for any institution that has a practice of violating the rights provided by the statute. The Department of Education Family Compliance Office is charged with interpreting and enforcing FERPA. The Web site provides additional information about FERPA.
Reviewed August, 2007
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