Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) | Webster University

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA Guidance & Information from the U.S. Dept. of Education


Above video courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education. Additional videos regarding FERPA available here.

The purpose of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as Amended, is to afford certain rights to students concerning their education records. The primary rights afforded are the right to inspect and review the education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from the records. Webster University accords all the rights under the law to students.

Students have the right to review and inspect education records which relate to themselves as defined by the law. Students have the opportunity to request the correction or amendment of their records, and if necessary, the right to request a hearing regarding the amendment of their records under the guidelines in the policy.

Webster University will disclose information from a student's education records only with the written consent of the student, except:

  • to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records;
  • to officials of other institutions, upon request, in which students seek to enroll;
  • in connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary
  • to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid;
  • to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function;
  • to persons in compliance with a judicial order;
  • to other persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons;
  • to officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs;
  • if required by state law that was adopted before November 19, 1974;
  • to organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the University;
  • to an alleged victim of any crime of violence that results in any institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime;
  • to parents of students under 21 who have violated the University's alcohol policy.

All of these exceptions are permitted under FERPA.

FERPA states that the disclosure of directory information is optional. Therefore, Webster will disclose directory information, which includes the following: the student's name, enrollment status, degrees, date of attendance, e-mail address, telephone number, major field of study, admission status, campus, school, division, class standing (freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior), awards, participation in officially recognized activities, sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and photographs. The University limits disclosure of the following directory information except as deemed appropriate by the Registrar or staff member who have undergone FERPA training: local and permanent addresses and class schedule.

A copy of the complete policy on FERPA is available from the Human Resources Department.