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How does FERPA affect you?

We asked Paula Martinez, senior associate registrar, a few questions to better understand this important federal law.

February 22, 2017

What is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is a federal law that pertains to the release of and access to student educational records. The law, which seeks to protect student rights and to ensure education records are private and accurate, applies to all schools that receive funds under the applicable programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

Pertaining to FERPA, what are the responsibilities of faculty and staff members?

School officials must not release any education records without a student’s permission. School officials must not disclose personally identifiable information about students, nor permit inspection of their records, without written permission unless such action is covered by exceptions permitted by the act. These exceptions are listed in our University catalog.

Education records are records directly related to the student and maintained by the institution.

Personally identifiable information is data or information that includes: 1) the name of the student, the student’s parent or other family members; 2) the student’s address; 3) Social Security number or student number; or 4) any personal characteristics or other information that would make the student’s identity easily traceable.

What are the most important points to remember about FERPA?

To understand students’ rights under FERPA and to protect students’ privacy.

For additional questions, please contact Paula Martinez at 303-556-3997 or

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