Confidentiality/FERPA - STUDENTS

What are FERPA rights?

Students have three primary rights under FERPA. They have the rights to: inspect and review their education records; have some control over the disclosure of information from their education record, and seek to amend their education records, under certain circumstances.

When do FERPA rights begin?

A student's FERPA rights begin when the student registers and attends his/her first class.

What are education records?

Under FERPA, education records are defined as records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an education agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. Education records can exist in any medium, including: electronic, hard copy, microfilm, etc.

Withholding the release of information

According to FERPA, a student can request, while still enrolled, that the institution not release any directory information about him/her. Institutions must comply with this request. At Sac State, students who wish to restrict the release of directory information about themselves must complete a "Request To Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information" form, available by visiting the Lobby of Lassen Hall or requesting a copy via email (ferpahlp@csus.edu). Students can restrict the release of all of their directory information. The completed form must be submitted in person to the Registrar's office and must be accompanied by a photo I.D.

Students who wish to restrict directory information should realize that THIS ACTION COULD HAVE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES. The names of students who have restricted their directory information will not appear in the commencement bulletin and other university publications. Also, employers, credit card companies, loan agencies, scholarship committees and the like will be denied any of your directory information and will be told: "I'm sorry, but we have no information available about this person's attendance at Sac State."

Parent's access to a student's records

At the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent rights to access or inspect their son or daughter’s education records. This right is limited solely to the student. At Sac State, student’s education records may be released to parents only if they have been given a written release by the student, in compliance with a subpoena, or by having the parent submit a completed “Certification of Financial Dependency” form along with supporting documentation. These documents must be submitted in person and with photo I.D.

Crisis situations/emergencies

If non-directory information is needed to resolve a crisis or emergency situation, an education institution may release that information if the institution determines that the information is "necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals." Factors considered in making this assessment are: the severity of the threat to the health or safety of those involved; the need for the information; the time required to deal with the emergency; and the ability of the parties to whom the information is to be given to deal with the emergency.

Who to contact with questions/concerns

General questions may be directed to Office of the General Counsel, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, or the Registrar’s Office. Comments or suggestions should be addressed to the Office of the University Registrar, ferpahlp@csus.edu Lassen Hall, Sacramento, CA 95819.