Third-party requests for student directory information must now be submitted as an open records request through the Office of General Counsel.

Faculty generally receive no access to student records beyond their class and grade rosters. Faculty do not have access to the student academic records unless their normal job duties specifically require access.

Although potentially beneficial for the student, this information cannot be shared without the student’s permission.

It depends on how the grades are posted. If the grades are posted by some “code” known only by the student and instructor (as opposed to by name, student ID number, Social Security number), then it is not a violation. It is best not to post grades in any way.

Any information listed as directory information can be released without the student’s permission unless the student has filed a privacy restriction form with the registrar’s office.

The student has the right to inspect any university file that contains any type of information about the student.

No. Graded material should never be left out for pickup. It should always be under some type of supervision and, when the student is not personally known, distributed only when proper identification is shown.

No. GPA and grade information, no matter how high, should not be included in a letter of recommendation unless the student gives permission. This applies even if the student requested the faculty member to write the recommendation and provided a copy of a resume with the requested information to the faculty member.

No. FERPA gives permission for the university to release information designated as directory. It is not required. The operative word is “may.”

Yes. Graduation information is not considered directory information. If faculty members provide reasons relating to legitimate educational interest to the university, they may be allowed this information.

This refers to a school official’s need to review student education record information to fulfill a responsibility as part of the official’s duties.

When a student turns 18, the rights pass from the parent to the student. Also, when the student begins attending a higher education institution, the rights pass from the parent to the student. Even if the student is younger than 18 when they begin at the university, the student still holds FERPA rights, not the parents.

When the student is “in attendance” as defined by the institution. Ball State defines this as when a student registers for university classes.

It must be:

  • personally identifiable to the student
  • maintained by the institution

Our office needs to have written permission, unless the release is covered by any exception listed in FERPA. The student would need to complete the Permission to Release Educational Records Information form, obtained online or at the registrar’s office.

Letters of recommendation but only if the student did not waive the right to see the letter of recommendation. If the students waived the right to see it, the letter remains confidential.

  • class roster with all students' names on it — Yes
  • a traffic violation of a student kept in the institution's security office — No
  • the honor roll list — Yes
  • the annual giving record of a former student— No
  • a note made in the student record by a faculty member of an advising session with a student — Yes
  • notes taken by the institution's affirmative action officer when interviewing students regarding a sexual harassment charge made against a faculty member — Yes
  • student photographs on a department's bulletin board identifying the majors of that department — No
  • medical records made and maintained by the university's contracted doctor related to the treatment of a student — No
  • the employment records of an individual who is a full-time employee of the institution and is also a part-time student — No
  • scores of a student who took the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) — Yes
  • test scores of a group of students identified only by ID number and kept in a faculty member's office files only — Yes
  • a faculty member's note about a student having an epileptic seizure in one of his or her classes and kept in a locked office file— No