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FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). It is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Education records are those records, files documents, and other materials which 1) contain information directly related to a student; and 2) are maintained by an educational institution. (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(a)(4)(A); 34 CFR § 99.3). FERPA applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
Generally speaking, FERPA allows the University to disclose education records or personally identifiable information from education records in the following circumstances: with the written consent of the student, if the disclosure meets one of the statutory exemptions, or if the disclosure is directory information and the student has not placed a hold on release of directory information. Pursuant to WAC 478-140-024(5), directory information at Oregon State University is defined as:
FERPA allows the University to release a student's directory information to anyone unless the student informs the Office of the Registrar that he or she does not wish directory information to be released.
A student may request in writing that all of the above directory information be kept confidential. This option may be exercised by filing a written, dated, and signed request at the Registrar's Office any time. The restriction remains in effect until revoked by the student even if the student leaves the university or graduates.
You should be aware that restricting the release of your directory information has other consequences. For instance, a FERPA restriction makes it difficult or impossible for potential employers to verify your enrollment, or to verify the fact that you have earned a degree from the University. For this reason alone, many students choose to remove their FERPA restriction.
Please refer to the Notice to Students Regarding Privacy of Records.
FERPA also affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
For complete information about student rights with regard to FERPA you may visit the U.S. Department of Education Policy Guidance webpage.
Upon request, the University also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. This disclosure may be made at any point in time, even after the student has enrolled in the new school, if the disclosure is in connection with the student's enrollment in the new school. The University may also update, correct, or explain information it has disclosed to another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.