FERPA Scenarios

Yes, you can provide the information to the adviser, but you should remind the adviser that he must not release the information to the fraternity members.

A better alternative is to ask the adviser for the scholarship requirements, then provide a list of only those members who meet the requirements.

The cautious approach is not to discuss any specifics of the student's situation. Instead, discuss in general terms the policies and procedures surrounding suspended students and what the next steps are for students in this situation.

Only if the agent presents you with a written release signed by the student specifying that the transcript can be released to the FBI.

No. Even though the student did not enroll at Penn State and, therefore, his transcript is not part of our educational record, FERPA prohibits us from re-disclosing an educational record received from another institution unless we have the student's written consent.

No. Although name and address are directory items, release is at the discretion of the institution. Penn State does not release mailing lists to third parties.

No, not without a subpoena or court order. Send any subpoenas/court orders to the Registrar's Office.

No. You may offer to send someone to the student's class to find her and ask her to call home. Contact Police Services or Student Affairs to locate the student.

No. The only disclosure requirement in FERPA is to the student. Even with the student's consent, we are not required to disclose the records to anyone else. The decision regarding whether or not to engage in this sort of dialog with the parents is up to the faculty member/department head.

No. Without the student's written permission, you may not disclose any portion of the student's educational record, regardless of what the student has disclosed in his resume. FERPA requires explicit (not implied) consent.

A Request for Letter of Recommendation form is available to allow students to request letters of recommendation and to authorize inclusion of information from their education records.

Yes. You may answer questions regarding your personal observations of the student. You may also provide directory information (e.g. major, degree received). However, without written permission from the student, you may not reveal any information from the student's educational record.

No. Confidentiality does not permit the student to impede or be excluded from classroom communication. The student may not be anonymous in class and must participate in all required components of the course.

No. When the student enrolls in a post-secondary institution regardless of age, all FERPA rights belong to the student.

No. FERPA permits an amended record to be sent to the new institution without the student's consent as long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer.

Yes. FERPA permits the return of a record to the creator or originator of that record in order to verify authenticity without the student's permission.

Yes. If those comments and notes are kept in a file that is accessible to others. Unless they are "sole possession" records, comments and notes are part of the student's education record and subject to FERPA. Since FERPA gives the student the right to review any or all of his/her education record, these notes could be included in that review. Therefore, it is important that notes or comments be factual and objective and that University employees who are recording notes or comments avoid making value judgments or using inappropriate language.

No. Since class enrollment is not directory information, uploading a class list constitutes a release of non-directory information and either requires the prior consent of every student or a contract with the vendor containing four FERPA-specific clauses. If an instructor is considering using any hosted vendor product that requires student information, then the instructor must first check with purchasesoftware@psu.edu to see if an appropriate contract is in place between Penn State and the vendor.

No. Anyone conducting research using information from student education records must receive approval for that research from Penn State's Office of Research Protections. In addition, researchers who are utilizing student education records in their research must agree to the following FERPA conditions:

  • Use the information only for purposes of the approved research project. Any new use of the information requires new approval.
  • Provide adequate protection for the information to ensure that it is not compromised or subject to unauthorized access.
  • Ensure that no one outside the research team has access to the information.
  • Destroy the information within a reasonable time after completion of the research.