Sac State University Policy Manual

Notice to Student of Rights Under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974   (FERPA)

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Student Affairs
Effective Date:
August 22, 2005
Index Cross-References:

Policy File Number: STU-0113




All student records of the California State University, Sacramento, are kept in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. Student records are considered confidential unless they fall under the definition of directory information. 


Directory information includes: student name, addresses, University e-mail address, telephone number, likenesses used in University publications including photographs, date of birth, major field of student, class level, dates of attendance, enrollment status (part/full-time), degrees earned, awards and honors (e.g. Dean’s Honor List) received, participation in University recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams and the most recent educational agency or institution attended by the student.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) specifies the following rights for students with respect to their education records:


  • Students and former students have rights to inspect and review their education records within 45 days from making such request. Students may request access to those campus records which personally identify them by submitting a written request to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, specifically identifying the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will arrange for access and notify the student of the time and place the record(s) may be inspected. If the record(s) is not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. 


  • The student may challenge the accuracy of the record or the appropriateness of its retention in campus records. The student may ask the University to amend the record that he or she believes is inaccurate or misleading by submitting in writing to the University official responsible for the record and identify the part of the record to be changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided the student when notified of the right to a hearing.


  • Student consent is needed for the release of records covered by FERPA to outside parties (e.g. prospective employers) except for those agencies entitled to access under the provisions that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. This includes: officials of other schools in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, upon request; authorized representatives of federal and state agencies; and in response to request in connection with the application or receipt of financial aid. The University is authorized to provide access to student records to campus officials and employees who have legitimate educational interest in such access. These persons are those who have responsibilities in connection with campus academic, administrative or service functions and who have reason for using student records connected with their campus or other related academic or administrative responsibilities, as opposed to a personal or private interest.


Campus officials are any person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position, a student serving on an official University committee, or a person employed by or under contract to the University to perform a specific task. 


Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of directory information by filing a request form with the Office of the University Registrar. The consent to release or the refusal to release is accomplished during the student’s matriculation, enrollment and attendance at the University. The request to prevent disclosure of directory information applies only to currently enrolled students and not to former students. Consent may be withdrawn or given by the student during each semester. 


For student employees covered by the Unit 11 Collective Bargaining agreement with the United Auto Workers (i.e. Teaching Associates, Graduate Assistants, and Instructional Student Assistants), directory information which may be released by the CSU to the UAW also includes: enrollment status (undergraduate vs. post-baccalaureate/graduate), department employed and employment status (i.e. TA, GA or ISA).


Agencies of the State of California may request for employment recruitment purposes the names, address, major, and total units completed of CSU students and former students.  The University is required by law to release such information to state agencies on request if students have permitted such release in writing. Consent to release directory information will constitute a request to be included in state agencies’ recruitment.


Additionally, student recruiting information of currently enrolled students (name, address, telephone number, age or year of birth, level of education and major) will be released to military recruiters unless the student has previously requested that directory information not be disclosed as defined by FERPA. The University is required to comply by law known as the Solomon Amendment, 32 CFR part 216.


Section 7 (b) of Federal Public Law 93-579 requires that any Federal, State, or local government agency which requests an individual to disclose his or her Social Security account number shall inform that individual whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority such number is elicited, and what uses will be made of it. 


Applicants to California State University are required to include their correct social security number (individual taxpayer identification number) in designated places on applications for admission pursuant to the authority contained in Section 41201, Title 5, California Code of Regulations, and Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code. The University uses the social security number as one of the primary methods to identify records pertaining to the student as well as to identify the student for purposes of financial aid eligibility and disbursement and the repayment of financial aid and other debts payable to the University. Also, the Internal Revenue Service requires the University to file information returns that include the student’s social security number and other information such as the amount paid for qualified tuition, related expenses, and interest on educational loans. That information is used to help determine whether a student or person claiming a student as a dependent, may take a credit or deduction to reduce federal income taxes.


The student’s social security number is protected within the University’s electronic data systems through high level encryption, limited access to only individuals with high level security access and limitations regarding full display on administrative screens.  The social security number may be required as an individual identifier on student records which may include: 1. application and admissions records, 2. registration records, 3. enrollment/transcript records, 4. financial aid records, 5. alumni records, and 6. records maintained by other University operated programs. Failure to provide the social security number can result in the student being denied these services. Such personally identifiable records are not shared or distributed to private individuals or agencies unless such sharing or distribution is authorized by the student or unless otherwise lawfully available. (See appendix D in the University Catalog.)


  • A student may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failure by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  Complaints are to be mailed to:


Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC  20202-5920


Approved by Alexander Gonzalez, President

October 2, 2008