What is FERPA?

FERPA is The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-380), Oregon Revised Statutes 351.065 and their implementing regulations. FERPA is the law that affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records and requires Oregon State University to assure that those students' rights are not abridged. 

FERPA protects the privacy of all education records, in any medium, maintained by Oregon State University. Although the law was written in 1974, its coverage is not limited to paper copies. All student education records, including records about students contained in computer databases, are protected. 

While federal law authorizes the release of records to parents of dependent students, it does not require it. The Oregon statute does not include release to parents as an authorized disclosure; since state law is more restrictive than the federal law, the university is bound by the state law. Only directory information may be released to parents of dependent or independent students. 

All employees of OSU must comply with FERPA: OSU's Guidelines for the Release of Student Records.

If your child is contacted by the Student Conduct and Community Standards office, would we be able to tell you about his or her situation? 

Our interactions with students are confidential and protected under FERPA. The best approach to get information is to ask your child directly. Communicating with young adults isn't easy. They are not always as forthcoming as we would like. The college years, however, are a period of remarkable growth and maturation. The ability and willingness of students to share information and insight usually grows, especially as they acquire the confidence that comes with assuming greater responsibility for their own lives.