Understanding the FERPA/Confidentiality Hold

University employees may have a legitimate, educational right to view/use a student's educational record information within the assigned duties of their position. The FERPA/Confidentiality Hold prevents University employees from releasing student educational information to a third party without the student's expressed consent.

Faculty and staff can find comprehensive information about confidentiality holds in the Guide to Student Confidentiality Holds. Topics covered in the guide include a description of confidentiality holds and their implications, how to identify if a student has a confidentiality hold, how confidentiality holds impact University employees conducting University business, and how to communicate with students who have a confidentiality hold in place.

Download the Guide to Student Confidentiality Holds

Communicating with Students who have a Confidentiality Hold

If a University employee is communicating with a student who has a FERPA/confidentiality hold the employee must confirm the identity of the student before releasing and/or discussing specific information regarding the student or any part of the student's academic record.

Never confirm, deny or correct the information provided by the student!

Ask as many questions as needed to feel confident the student's identity has been confirmed.

Examples of non-leading questions used to validate a student's identity include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What is your major and/or plan?
  • What course(s) are you registered for this term?
  • What course(s) did you take last term?
  • What is the name of your high school?
  • What is your date of birth?
  • What is your current University and/or permanent address?