Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (F.E.R.P.A.)
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (F.E.R.P.A.)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, is a federal law which provides that colleges and universities will maintain the confidentiality of student education records. This law also affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.
The law basically says that no one outside the institution shall have access to students’ education records nor will the institution disclose any information from those records without the written consent of the student. There are exceptions, of course, so that certain personnel within the institution may see the records, including persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
Additionally, under FERPA, students have the right to:
- Inspect and review their education records
- Seek to amend their education records
- Have some control over the disclosure of information from their education records
- File a complaint for an alleged violation of FERPA rights
FERPA law provides that an institution of higher education shall state what information in a student education record is to be considered Directory Information which may be released without prior student consent. Under FERPA, Sam Houston State University has established the following as directory information:
- Permanent Address
- Home telephone numbers
- Degrees, diplomas, certificates and dates of awards
- Honors and awards
- Extracurricular activities
- Weight, height, and related information of athletic team members
- Student's SHSU email address
The above directory information will be available for release to the general public. However, students have the right to inform Sam Houston State University that any or all of the above information is not to be released. Sam Houston State University will honor the student’s request to restrict the release of “Directory Information” as listed.
A student may restrict the release of directory information by submitting the FERPA Opt-Out form online (located on the Forms and Documents webpage). Forms must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office prior to the twelfth class day of the fall and spring terms and the fourth class day of the summer term. Additionally, the restriction of information remains on the students’ record until the student takes action to remove it. If the student restricts their information, the university campus staff and faculty will view a confidential message on all student records found in our current Banner student information system and NO information can be released on that student without the written permission of the student. This includes the restriction of the student’s name being listed in the commencement program, the honor’s list, and the Dean’s/President’s list. Release of information contained on a student’s academic transcript without the written consent of the person(s) identified on the document is in violation of Sec. 438 Public Law 90-247 (FERPA).
Additional FERPA information regarding our University policies on student rights is available under the Student Guidelines maintained by the Dean of Students. For more information, please visit www.shsu.edu/students/guide/.
Parental Access to Children's Education Records
At the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent rights to inspect a student’s education records. The right to inspect is limited solely to the student.
Records may be released to parents only under the following circumstances: (1) through the written consent of the student, (2) in compliance with a subpoena, or (3) by submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form. An institution is not required to disclose information from the student’s education records to the parents of a dependent student. It may, however, exercise its discretion to do so.
Reminder to All Employees
If you see this message when you enter a Student ID into any Banner form,
you cannot release any information on that student:
* Additionally, if you see the word, “Confidential” on the top left-hand corner of any Banner form, you cannot release any information on that student.
It is a violation of FERPA to discuss a student’s record with any person without a legitimate education interest. This pertains to discussions on and off the job.
- Removing any document from the office for non-business purposes is in violation of FERPA.
- Releasing confidential student information (non-directory) to another student, University organization, or any person who does not have a legitimate educational interest, or parents of a dependent student, without the student’s written authorization is in violation of FERPA.
- Leaving reports or computer screens containing confidential student information in view of others who do not have a legitimate educational interest in the data or leaving your monitor unattended is in violation of FERPA.
- Making personal use of student information is in violation of FERPA.
- Allowing another person to use your computer access code is in violation of FERPA.
- Putting paperwork in trash with a student’s information (i.e., social security or grades) is also in violation of FERPA.
Violation of confidentiality and security may lead to appropriate personnel action.
The FERPA campus official at Sam Houston State University is the Registrar. If you have any questions concerning FERPA or what information can or cannot be released, please contact the Registrar’s Office. If we cannot answer your question, we will consult the Department of Education.
Huntsville TX 77341
Toll free (866) 232-7528 ext 41048
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
FERPA Opt-Out Form (Directory Information)
- Students may submit the FERPA Opt-Out Form to request their directory information be withheld, or released (reverse a previous request).
Responsibilities as a Student Employee
Security and confidentiality are matters of concern to all offices and all persons who have access to office facilities. The Office of the Registrar is the official repository for student academic records, folders, and other files for Sam Houston State University. As a student employer, many offices are able to extend job opportunities and work experience to supplement students’ finances and education. In so doing, the student employee is placed in a unique position of trust since a major responsibility of offices is the security and confidentiality of student records and files. Since conduct either on or off the job could affect or threaten the security and confidentiality of this information, each student employee is expected to adhere to the following:
- No one may make or permit unauthorized use of any information in files maintained, stored, or processed by the office in which they are employed.
- No one is permitted to seek personal benefit or to allow others to benefit personally by knowledge of any confidential information which has come to them by virtue of their work assignment.
- No one is to exhibit or divulge the contents of any record or report to any person except in the conduct of their work assignment and in accordance with University policies and procedures.
- No one may knowingly include, or cause to be included, in any record or report a false, inaccurate, or misleading entry. No one may knowingly expunge, or cause to be expunged, in any record or report a data entry.
- No official record or report, or copy thereof, may be removed from the office where it is maintained except in the performance of a person’s duties.
- No one is to aid, abet, or act in conspiracy with another to violate any part of this code.
- Any knowledge of a violation must be immediately reported to the person’s supervisor.
Grant parents, guardians, and others access to specific records
Proxy Portal allows Sam Houston State University students to grant parents, guardians, coaches, or potential employers’ access to specific parts of their records online, pertaining to financial aid and/or registration.
By setting up Proxy Portal access, the student is granting the designated person access to view this information online at their convenience. Access can be updated or revoked at the discretion of the student.