The Pensylvania State University

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Definitions

Let's begin with some basic definitions.

What is an Education Record?

An education record is information recorded in any form that is directly related to a student and maintained by the University. Education records include:

An education record can exist in any form — handwritten note, computer file, print, tape, film, microfilm. Items such as computer printouts, class lists, test papers and computer screens must be protected.

What is not considered an Education Record?

Who are Students?

FERPA defines a student as anyone "in attendance" at an institution. According to Penn State policy, a student is defined as an individual currently or previously enrolled in any academic offering of the University. For newly admitted students, FERPA becomes effective on the first day of classes for those students who have scheduled at least one course. A student who accepted an admission offer but did not schedule at least one course, or a newly admitted student who canceled his/her registration either before or after the semester begins, is not covered by FERPA. FERPA does not cover prospective students or applicants to any academic program of the University.