FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 USC § 1232(g), is a federal law that protects the confidentiality of student education records.  Students who are 18 years of age or older or who attend a postsecondary institution at any age have certain rights concerning their education records.  Those rights are:

  • The right to inspect and review their education records.
  • The right to request an amendment to their education records.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Education.

For additional information, see Notice of FERPA Rights at the following link: https://www.fvsu.edu/notification-of-ferpa-rights/.

There are certain circumstances in which information can be released from a student’s education record without a student’s written consent, such as with “Directory Information.”  Directory information is information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed to the public.  Fort Valley State University has designated the following items as directory information:

  • Student Name
  • Date and Place of birth
  • Hometown
  • Major Field of Study
  • Class Status
  • School E-Mail Address
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Dates of enrollment
  • Enrollment status (including hours enrolled)
  • Degrees received
  • Honors/awards received
  • Most recent previous school attended

Students have the right to prohibit the release of their directory information without their consent.  Students desiring to opt-out of having their directory information released should complete the FERPA Directory Information Opt-Out Form.

Students may make their education records accessible to third parties by providing consent to disclosure of their education records.  Students desiring to authorize the release of information from their education records must complete a FERPA Release Authorization for Education Records Form. 

Additional Resources:

Fort Valley State University FERPA Policy: FERPA Policy

U.S. Dept. of Education FERPA page: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

Questions concerning the release of educational information under FERPA should be –directed to FVSU’s Privacy Officer, Sonya Williams, via e-mail at privacy.officer@fvsu.edu or via phone at 478-825-4321.