office of the provost + academic affairs ferpa

FERPA: Quick Guide for Faculty and Staff

What is it, where are the rules, and why comply?
What does it mean for students and when do FERPA rights begin?
What are Educational Records?
What does FERPA mean for faculty and staff?
Understanding Directory Release Information at Lawrence Tech
Who do I contact for guidance?


What is it, where are the rules, and why comply?

FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This Act was established in 1974 and is also known as the Buckley Amendment. This Act is enforced by the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Additional information can be found by reading the government document found here.

Consequences of not complying with FERPA (besides the fact that it is a law) are that federal funds may be withheld from the University if we are found in violation of FERPA, and the University may have lawsuits brought against it if found in violation.
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What does it mean for students and when do FERPA rights begin?

FERPA rights begin for a student once they have matriculated (officially registered) for the first time.

FERPA makes four guarantees to students. These rights include the following:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a written request for access.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
3. The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
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What are Educational Records?

  • Records directly related to a student
  • Records that are maintained by an institution in an area accessed by more than one person
  • Records can be in any media form (e.g.: Handwritten, Print, Type, Film, Electronic)

Examples of information that needs secure handling:

  • Registration forms
  • Transcripts
  • Student information displayed on your computer screen
  • Grades
  • Student schedules
  • Class assignments
  • Class rosters
  • Any paper with the student’s ID on it

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What does FERPA mean for faculty and staff?

  • Only access those educational records you need to access as part of your job requirements. Ask yourself, “Is this a legitimate educational need?”
  • Do not post grades publicly. The public posting of grades either by student’s name, student number, or social security number without the student’s written permission is a direct violation of FERPA.
  • Do not e-mail grade information. There is no guarantee of confidentiality on the Internet.
  • Do not release the following information without written authorization.
    • Student Number
    • Grades/Exam Score
    • Grade Point Average
    • Social Security Number
    • Address/Telephone Number
    • Class Schedule/Registration information, including number of credit hours registered
    • Race, Ethnicity, or Nationality
    • Gender, Date of Birth
    • Total Credit Hours
    • Emergency Contacts

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Understanding Directory Release Information at Lawrence Tech

If a student has not restricted access to the directory (or public) information you may release the following without the student’s consent:

  • Name
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Classification (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, or Graduate)
  • Major field of study
  • Awards
  • Honors (including honors lists)
  • Degree(s) conferred (including dates and any graduation honors)

If a student has blocked release of directory information, you may not release any information about that student. It is recommended you say, “I have no information about that individual.”


To verify if a student has elected to block the release of directory information contact Enrollment Services at EnrollmentServices@ltu.edu or (248) 204-2280. Banner Web will display a message indicating a student has elected to block information each time a faculty or staff member views the student information, such as transcripts.


A student can elect to complete a consent-to-release form allowing the University to release non-directory information to the persons indicated on the form. The form should be completed and forwarded to Enrollment Services for documentation. Click here for the Authorization to Disclosure Information form.


The University can and is required to release information as listed below. This information would be released by the appropriate authorized offices on campus (e.g.: Registrar, Financial Aid, Dean of Students, and Campus Safety).

  • Financial Aid Lenders
  • Agents of the Courts (e.g.: subpoena)
  • Certain State & Federal Agencies
  • Military Recruiters (Under the Solomon Amendment)
  • Emergencies (To protect the health & safety of the student or other persons)

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Who do I contact for guidance?

FERPA issues are sometimes confusing and the correct course of action is not always clear. For guidance on FERPA issues contact Enrollment Services at EnrollmentServices@ltu.edu or call (248) 204-2280. We are here to help you!
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