All faculty and staff who wish to gain access to an AU system that provides student information, will be required to complete FERPA certification to receive access to student records.
As a rule of thumb, presume that all student information is confidential, and do not disclose information without a student’s consent except to University officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the information. Consult with the Registrar’s Office to understand which information the University can properly disclose.
The FERPA certification is designed to inform staff of their responsibility to respect the confidentiality of student and department records, to protect student privacy, and to act in a professional manner when interacting with the public in person and over the telephone.
Upon completion of the FERPA certification, send the course completion notice to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FERPA regulations take effect the first day of class for new students and will remain in effect for continuing students. Please use the FERPA Overview for detailed information regarding FERPA guidelines to ensure you are in compliance.
Who is a student?
A student is “an individual who on the first day of the term of his/her respective academic calendar has paid registration fees and has not had his/her admission cancelled.
What rights do students have under FERPA?
Students have three primary rights under FERPA:
The release or disclosure for student information generally requires the signed written consent of the student . However, FERPA specifies that education official and agents of the institution with a legitimate need to know may have access to education records.
What are student or education records?
Any record that directly identifies an AU student and is maintained by an AU department or a party acting for AU is considered an education record.
A record is any information or data recorded in any medium including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, tapes, film, microfilm, microfiche, and any electronic storage or retrieval media.
Student records include, but are not limited to, academic evaluations, including student examination papers, transcripts, test scores, and other academic records; general counseling and advising records; disciplinary records; and financial aid records, including student loan collection records.
What is considered personally identifiable information at AU?
AU has designated the following as directory information:
AU reserves the right to withhold directory information at its discretion.
What cannot be included in public information?
Public information cannot include race, gender, Social Security number, grades, GPA, country of citizenship, or religion.
How can students restrict the release of personally identifiable information?
Students can restrict the release of information, by completing the Request for Confidential Status Form. Requesting confidential status will prevent employees of AU from providing any directory information or confidential information. When a confidentiality restriction is in place, a student record can only be discussed with you in person with picture identification or if you release the restriction.
How will I know if a student has a FERPA restriction on the student record and how should I reply to requests?
In Banner, when accessing a student's record that has been flagged confidential, a pop-up window will appear. If a student has requested that directory information not be released, no information about that student should be shared with any third party.
Departments should require that the student appear in person with a picture ID to conduct business. Business should not be conducted over the telephone. If any third party should request any information about the student, faculty and staff should state "there is no information available for that individual".
Inquiries can be directed to the Registrar's Office.
What are the exceptions to FERPA?
Personally identifiable information from student records may not be disclosed to third parties without prior written consent. However, there are certain exceptions.
Personally identifiable information may be disclosed to campus officials who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the records. Such determination is made by the head administrator of the unit retaining the information.
What rights to parents have to access their children's student records?
When a student turns 18 year of age, or regardless of age, enters a post-secondary institution, the rights to educational records transfer to the student. In essence, they become the "owner" of their educational records.
Parents have no inherent right to inspect their student's education records. For a parent to have access to their student's non-directory information, the student must have completed an Authorization to Release Information form signifying the parent as someone who has been given permission to access non-directory information.
AU may disclose personally identifiable information of the education record without the student's consent if the disclosure is to the parents of "dependent" children as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, Section 152, and if AU has a copy of the parent tax return on file.
What rights do student's have to inspect their records?
Students have the right to inspect and review records pertaining to themselves in their capacity as students, except as the right may be waived or qualified under federal and state laws and University policies. Students also have the right to inspect records maintained by AU of disclosures of personally identifiable information from their student records.
How can students correct errors in their records?
If students believe information contained in their student records is inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise in violation of their right of privacy, they may request of the campus official responsible for maintaining the records that their records be corrected. If their request is granted, the records shall be corrected within a reasonable period of time following receipt of the request. If their request is denied, students shall be informed of the refusal.