FERPA Quick Glance
Who is protected by FERPA?
- All students, regardless of age, who are or have ever attended a postsecondary institution.
- Attending Students = admitted, registered, and the term has begun; whether in residence, online, non-degree, degree-seeking, part or full time.
- Students who have only applied to EKU do not have FERPA protection; they are not yet “in attendance”.
Who is responsible for enforcing FERPA?
Everyone on campus with access to student records shares this responsibility – faculty, staff, and students.
What are a student’s fundamental FERPA rights?
- Right to inspect and review their own educational records.
- Right to request any amendments of inaccuracies in their records.
- Right to have some control over the release of their educational records.
- Right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education regarding any perceived failure to comply with FERPA.
How does EKU make students aware of FERPA?
Each year there is a notification in the University catalog and the student handbook. FERPA information is also made available through the EKU website.
What is Directory Information?
- Directory information is student data that is not considered to be generally harmful to an individual if released.
- Directory information data items must be defined by the institution. (It is in the EKU catalog.)
- Students must be allowed to request confidentiality (nondisclosure) of their directory information.
Directory Information at EKU:
|Name||Weight and height of members on athletic teams|
|Address (excluding EKU Residence hall address)||Academic level (Undergraduate or Graduate)|
|Telephone listing (excluding cell phone)||Academic Class (freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior)|
|Email address||Dates of attendance|
|Date and place of birth||Enrollment status|
|Major, field of study||Degrees and Awards received|
|Participation in officially recognized activities and sports||Student photo or likeness|
|Most recent previous education institution attended by the student|
What is NEVER Directory Information; never released without student written permission?
|Social Security Number||GPA|
|Student schedule||Academic standing|
|Student ID||Residence Hall room number|
Confidentiality and Security of Student Records
The Office of the Registrar strictly adheres to the rights and restrictions regarding the maintenance, inspection and release of student records as contained in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended. Refer to the university catalog for more details by visiting here.
The Office of the Registrar provides FERPA training to all Registrar staff and adheres to the strictest protocol in dealing with all student information. Attached are documents used in training and required by all staff within the Registrar’s office, FERPA for Faculty and Staff; Security and Confidentiality Staff Form. (PDF files)
(For the PDF files, you will need to have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to view & print the forms.)
Release of Student Directory Information
Student directory information, as defined in the university catalog (e.g. address, enrollment status, awarded degrees), may be released without the student’s written consent. By federal law each EKU student has the right to restrict release of his or her directory information. A student may request confidentiality of directory information by writing to the EKU Registrar, SSB CPO 58, EKU, Richmond KY 40475. This request must include student ID number, current mailing, phone, and EKU email address, in addition to the student’s signature. The student may be asked to come to the Registrar’s Office, with photo identification, to verify the signature on the request letter.
Students should consider carefully before requesting confidentiality as it is an “all or nothing” measure – until confidentiality is revoked in writing all directory information is restricted from any third party (such as insurance companies and potential employers). The student would be responsible for providing any and all directory information to a requestor and would be required to provide separate signed release documents per each request.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, provides notice to students of the rights and restrictions placed upon the maintenance, inspection and release of student records. This notice is published annually in the Undergraduate Catalog, and the University Handbook for Students. The University is composed of five colleges and offers a wide variety of services to students. Although the Office of the Registrar serves as primary custodian of student records, each of the five colleges, and numerous University services also maintain some records concerning students. The location and type of record maintained by the University depends upon the field of study or service in which the student is enrolled.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA governs access to and the release of information from those records. FERPA is also known as the Buckley Amendment.
An education record is defined as any record that directly identifies a student and is maintained by the institution or educational agency or by a party acting for the institution or educational agency. Education records can exist in any medium including the following: handwritten, typed, computer generated, videotape, audiotape, film, microfilm, microfiche, e-mail, and others.
Student directory information is specific to a student, however, FERPA regulations deem that this information is not harmful to the individual if it is released to the public. Therefore, information classified as “directory information” may be released by the University without the student’s consent.
The following categories of information have been designated by the University as directory information:
|Name||Major, field of study||Enrollment Status|
|Address (never residence hall room number)||Participation in officially recognized activities and sports||Degrees and awards received|
|Telephone listing (excluding cell phone)||Weight and height of members of athletic teams||Student Photo or likeness|
|Email address||Academic Level (Undergraduate or Graduate)||The most recent previous education institution attended by the student|
|Date and place of birth||Dates of attendance||Academic class (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior)|
Students who do not want their directory information released without their consent must contact Big E Central to initiate the process. The student will be required to produce proof of identity. A confidentiality flag will then be placed on the student’s record. Students should note that a confidentiality flag will also prevent automatic enrollment verification. Once a student has requested a confidentiality flag they can only receive enrollment verification by making the request in writing, with proof of identity.
The confidentiality flag will remain in effect until the student contacts Big E Central and formally revokes it in writing.
Basic FERPA rights of students:
- Right to inspect and review their educational record within 45 days of a written request.
- Right to request to amend inaccurate or misleading data within an educational record.
- Right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in an educational record.
- Right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with FERPA.
EKU FERPA Training Materials:
- See pages 2-4 (PDF file) of the EKU Undergraduate catalog.
- AACRAO online FERPA guide
- US DOE FERPA site