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.


What FERPA means for parents and families:

Can I have access to my student's grades?

Grades are part of the student's educational record that is protected under FERPA. OSU cannot provide a parent or family member access to a student's grades without the student's written permission.

The Office of the Registrar manages all student grade record matters and manages their requirements for a student's written permission to disclose grades to anyone else. This means you may obtain grade information only if the student provides the Office of the Registrar specific, written permission to disclose grades to you.

Can you tell me if my student is registered for next term?

No, we cannot share that information with you. Current academic status is non-directory (non-public) information and is protected by FERPA.

What can and can't you tell me?

We encourage you to refer to OSU's Guidelines for the Release of Student Records to learn what we can and cannot disclose without a student's written permission.

Where can I see the content of the law?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act can be found on the United States Department of Education's website. OSU posts Notice to Students Regarding Privacy of Records in the OSU General Catalog.

Who can I talk to if I'm concerned for my student?

The Office of Student Life is happy to consult with family members on ways we can support your student. Please contact us at (541) 737-8748 or the Student Care Inquiry Form.