Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-380) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading data through informal and formal hearings.
In accordance with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), disclosure of student information, including financial and academic, is restricted. Release of information other than “directory information” to anyone other than the student requires a written consent from the student. The College may release “directory information” without prior written consent from the student. St. Mary’s College considers the following to be directory information: student’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address, photographs, date and place of birth, year in college, parents’ names and addresses, prior educational institutions attended, dates of college attendance, degrees, scholarships, awards received, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and participation in officially recognized activities and sports.
The “Notification of Rights” appears in To the Point, the student handbook.
- Student Information Release Authorization Instructions
- Student Information Release Authorization – FERPA Form
A Parent’s Guide to FERPA
This document was updated in July of 2021 and is intended to provide parents with general information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This document is a compilation and update of various letters and guidance documents previously issued that respond to a variety of questions about FERPA.
FERPA Guidelines for Faculty and Staff
Faculty and staff members play a key role in the protection and integrity of student records. It is incumbent upon them to maintain, report and make available information included in student educational records in compliance with the requirements of FERPA.
Guidelines for Faculty & Staff
- Requests for information from the educational record of a student should be referred to the proper educational record custodian.
- Private notes of a faculty/staff member concerning a student and intended for the faculty/staff member’s own use are not part of the student’s educational record, provided they are kept separate from the student’s educational records. Only those individual student records that are necessary to fulfill professional responsibilities should be kept. Private records of faculty/staff and ancillary educational personnel are to be kept in the sole possession of the maker and are not to be accessible or revealed to any other person, except a substitute.
- Requests for information from the educational record custodian must not be made without a legitimate educational interest and the appropriate authority to do so.
- Student scores or grades may not be displayed publicly in association with names, social security numbers or other personal identifiers. Some other code known only to the instructor and the individual student may be used to post grades/scores.
- All papers or lab reports containing student names and grades should be secured. Students should not have access to the scores and grades of others in the class.
- Factual information regarding grades and performance in an educational record may be amended when the student is able to provide valid documentation that information is inaccurate or misleading.
- Student educational record information is not to be shared, including grades or grade point averages, with other faculty or staff members of the University unless their official responsibilities identify their “legitimate educational interest” in that information for that student.
- Information from student educational records, including grades, grade point averages, and letters of recommendation should not be shared by phone or correspondence with parents or other parties outside the institution, without written permission from the student.
- Information from medical, psychiatric, or psychological reports; records from law enforcement officials on or off the campus; or notes of a professional or staff person which are intended for that individual alone are not to be included in a student’s educational records or made available to him/her, or to a third party.
- FERPA enforcement may include sanctions as severe as the withholding of federal funding.
Federal Regulations – Further Information