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 re- quires 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 students and their families:

Some information, called Directory Information, may be released to 3rd parties without the student's prior consent, unless the student files a written request to restrict directory information access. Please see the complete list of directory information here.

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 may have other consequences. For example, a FERPA restriction makes it difficult 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.

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

The Office of the Registrar manages all student grade record matters and manages the requirements for a student's written permission to disclose grades to anyone else. This means you may grant written permission to family members to obtain grade information through the Office of the Registrar.

You have the right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access. You should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) you wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official will advise you of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including health staff and members of the Law Enforcement Unit); a person or company with whom the university has contracted; a person or company acting as consultant or volunteer for the university; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.