Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
for Faculty and Staff
Educational Rights and Privacy Act
confidentiality of student records is everyone's responsibility
whether you are faculty, staff or student.
the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
(UMDNJ) informs students of the Family Educational
Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. This Act
(formerly known as the Buckley Amendment), which the
institution intends to comply with fully, has been
designated to protect the privacy of educational records.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
affords students certain rights with respect to their
following is considered "Directory Information"
at UMDNJ. Any part of the list will be made available
to the general public unless the student notifies
the Office of Student Records in person or in writing
that this information should be kept confidential.
name, University-issued identification number (A#),
addresses (including electronic), telephone number,
date and place of birth, field(s) of study or program(s),
participation in officially recognized activities,
photographs, enrollment status, dates of attendance,
degrees, awards and honors received, previous schools
attended, and graduate medical/dental placements.
Annual Notification of Rights Under FERPA
additional information on UMDNJ's policy, please visit
the Office of Policy & Project Management web
for Violating FERPA Regulations
Family Policy Compliance Office reviews and investigates
complaints of violations of FERPA. If the Office finds
that there has been a failure to comply with FERPA,
it will notify the institution about the corrections
that need to be made to bring the institution into
compliance. The Office will establish a reasonable
period of time for the institution to voluntarily
accomplish the specified changes.
the Secretary of Education finds, after this reasonable
period of time, that an institution has failed to
comply with FERPA and determines that compliance cannot
be secured by any means, he can, among other options
direct that no federal funds under his administrative
control (financial aid, education grants, etc.) be
made available to that institution.
is an Educational Record?
are records which
information which is directly related to a student;
maintained by an educational agency or institution
or by a party acting for the agency or institution.
of Grades by Faculty
public posting of grades either by the student's name
or University-issued identification number (A#) without
the student's written permission is a violation of
FERPA. This includes the posting of grades to a class
website and applies to any public posting of grades
for students taking distance education courses.
and others who post grades should use a system that
ensures that FERPA requirements are met. This can
be accomplished either by obtaining the student's
written permission or by using code words or randomly
assigned numbers that only the instructor and individual
student should know.
of grades via a postcard violates a student's privacy
of grades via e-mail is not recommended. There is
minimal guarantee of confidentiality on e-mail. The
institution would be held responsible if an unauthorized
third party gained access, in any manner, to a student's
educational record through any electronic transmission
provides a secure web application for students (my.UMDNJ)
to view their academic record. In addition to a unique
user id, a student must also supply a self-assigned
PIN, which is a second level of security, to view
made by a person making a recommendation that are
made from that person's personal observation or knowledge
do not require a written release from the student.
However, if personally identifiable information obtained
from a student's educational record is included in
the letter of recommendation (grades, GPA, etc.),
the writer is required to obtain a signed release
from the student which (1) specifies the records that
may be disclosed, (2) states the purpose of the disclosure,
and (3) identifies the party or class of parties to
whom the disclosure can be made.
this letter is kept on file by the person writing
the recommendation, it would be part of the student's
education record and the student has the right to
read it unless he or she has waived that right to
letter of recommendation -
give permission to Prof. Smith to write a letter of
324 Wilkins Drive
Atlanta , GA 33011
Smith has my permission to include my GPA and grades.
waive (or do not waive) my right to review a copy
of this letter at any time in the future.
in FERPA allows an institution to discuss a student's
educational record publicly - even if a lawsuit has
made the information a matter of public record. A
school official may not assume that a student's public
discussion of a matter constitutes implied consent
for the school official to disclose anything other
than directory information in reply. Additionally,
university employees should follow university policy
regarding the release of information to the media.
School official has a legitimate educational
interest if he/she is:
a task in order to fulfill his or her professional
a task related to a student's education; or
a task related to the a disciplinary action involving
is NOT "legitimate educational
interest"? Legitimate educational interest does
not convey inherent rights to any and all student
information. The law discriminates between educational
interest, and personal or private interest; determinations
are made on a case-by-case basis. Educational interest
does not constitute authority to disclose information
to a third party without the student's written permission.
"DON'TS" for Faculty
avoid violations of FERPA rules, DO NOT :
any time use the entire Social Security Number of
a student in a public posting of grades
link the name of a student with that student's social
security number in any public manner
graded tests in a stack for students to pick up
by sorting through the papers of all students
a printed class list with student name and social
security number or grades as an attendance roster
the progress of any student with anyone other than
the student (including parents) without the consent
of the student
anyone with lists of students enrolled in your classes
for any commercial purpose
anyone with student schedules or assist anyone other
than university employees in finding a student on
The AACRAO 2001 FERPA Guide
more detailed information on FERPA visit these web
Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (UMDNJ
Webinar Handouts (3/26/08 and 3/27/08)
Webinar Issues (3/26/08 and 3/27/08)
2010 Training Presentation