What is FERPA?
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
What are educational records?
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:
‚Äúsole possession records‚ÄĚ - 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.
What is directory information?
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:
Name, permanent, local, mailing, and campus address, residential college affiliation, telephone and mobile number(s), campus email address(es), and Net ID
Date and place of birth
Classification, degrees or programs, and majors and minors
Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
Weight and height of members of athletic teams
Dates of attendance, degrees, honors, and awards received
The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
Who has access to student educational records?
A student‚Äôs 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‚Äôs prior consent to its faculty or staff who legitimately require this information to perform their instructional, supervisory, advisory, or administrative duties.
Related FERPA Links
Additional resources covering FERPA are available here:
Rice provides a FERPA tutorial available here. Successful completion of the tutorial is required before access to student records is given.
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.