The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of, and limit access to, student educational records. Please visit the following link to learn more: www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco
Educational records are all records that are directly related to a student and that are maintained by an educational institution (or its agents). A record means any information recorded in any way. Examples may include, but are not limited to, handwriting, print, tape, film, e-mail, microfilm, microfiche, and digital images.
Educational records do not include the following:
• “sole possession records” - faculty and staff personal records not shared with others and only for the personal use of the maker (e.g. gradebook);
• records made or maintained by a physician or psychologist;
• employment records, unless employed due to status as a student (e.g. a staff member who happens to be pursuing a degree at the institution, as opposed to a student employed under the work study program);
• law enforcement records created by RUPD; and
• alumni records which do not contain information about the person as a student.
FERPA provides for each institution to identify certain information as directory information, which may be disclosed without the student's permission. The university has designated the following information as directory information:
• Permanent, local, and campus address
• Telephone and mobile number(s)
• Campus email address
• Instant messenger address
• Date and place of birth and gender
• Student level, type, year of study, and matriculation term
• Major and minor fields of study
• Dates of attendance
• Participation in officially recognized activities or sports
• Weight and height of members of intercollegiate athletic teams
• Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended
• Photographic image
A student's FERPA rights begin when the student registers and attends his/her first class. NOTE: Students who originally sought admission to one program of study at the university and are denied, but subsequently are admitted and enrolled in a different program of study have FERPA rights only in their admitted/enrolled program of study.
A student’s consent is required for the disclosure or publication of any information that is a) personally identifiable and b) a part of the educational record. However, certain exceptions to this general rule, both in types of information that can be disclosed and in access to that information, are allowed by the regulations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Rice may allow access to personally identifiable information without a student’s prior consent to its faculty or staff who legitimately require this information to perform their instructional, supervisory, advisory, or administrative duties.
For a list of frequently asked FERPA questions for students, click here.
For a list of frequently asked FERPA questions for faculty & staff, click here.
For a list of frequently asked FERPA questions for parents or spouses, click here.
Last Revised : June 15, 2009