Penn State Mark

Confidentiality and Security of Student Records

Educational records are kept by University offices to facilitate the educational development of students. Faculty and staff members may also keep informal records relating to their functional responsibilities with individual students.

The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 identifies the rights of students and their families with respect to student educational records kept by institutions. As part of the requirements of FERPA, the University has a Policy on Confidentiality of Student Records (policy AD-11). The University has also developed related policies that concentrate on the use of institutional data (policy AD-23) and computer and network security (policy AD-20).

Penn State is committed to maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of the student's Social Security number. The Social Security number is requested at the time of degree or nondegree application to the University, but is used in a very limited and controlled manner. The primary student identification number used to conduct University business is the PSU ID, which is assigned at the time of first affiliation with Penn State. This practice is further described in policy AD-19.

The following information provides operational procedures for certain aspects of these FERPA related policies: