FERPA: Legislation and Confidentiality of Records

Legislation and Confidentiality of Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student “education records.” “Education records” are defined, with a few exceptions, as records containing information directly related to a student that are maintained by a school or its agent (including electronic records). FERPA prohibits schools from disclosing education records, or personally identifiable information in those records, other than certain basic directory information, without the student’s prior written consent, or the parent’s consent if the student is under the age of 18. The student may even request that directory information be withheld.  Some exceptions allowing disclosure of education records do apply.  For further information contact the Office of the University Registrar.

Disclosure is defined as permitting access to, or the release, transfer, or other communication of personally identifiable information contained in education records to any party, by any means, including oral, written, or electronic. Exposing student education records to unauthorized access due to inadequate security measures may arguably constitute a disclosure in violation of FERPA. Other FERPA obligations may be affected by security and system integrity breaches.  FERPA provides students the right to access and petition to correct their records, and a security breach might result in the loss or alteration of student records. Similarly, FERPA requires schools to track disclosures of education records to third parties and maintain a database of students who opt-out of directory information disclosures. Security breaches may impair a school’s ability to perform these functions. 

Under the terms of FERPA, Louisiana State University (LSU) has established the following as Directory Information and may be released to those requesting it unless the student specifically requests otherwise by submitting written notification in person to the Office of the University Registrar:

  •        Student Name
  •        Local Address / Phone Number
  •        Home Address / Phone Number
  •        E-mail Address
  •        Date & Place of Birth
  •        Degrees and Awards / Honors Received and Dates
  •        Dates of Attendance (Current and Past)
  •        Full or Part-Time Enrollment Status
  •        Participation in Officially Recognized Sports
  •        Weight/Height of Member of Athletic Teams
  •        Most Recently Attended Educational Institute
  •        Major Field of Student/Classification

All other information may not be released without written consent of the student. Grades, LSUID’s, Ethnic Backgrounds and Student Schedules may not be released to anyone without the student’s written consent other than the student and NEVER over the phone.  Please note that students may restrict Directory Information at any time and that if the student restricts the release of Directory Information, a special overlay screen appears when you attempt to access the student’s record on the SRR database; no information may be released on that student without further written permission.

Additional FERPA Links

FERPA for Faculty & Staff

FERPA for Students

FERPA for Parents

ITS Security & Policy

LSU University Policies & Procedures

US Department of Education

3/25/2024 12:40:06 PM