Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA Information for Parents and Students

Can I Protect my Directory Information?

Students have the right to prevent disclosure of any or all of their directory information. Those students who wish confidentiality must notify the Registrar in writing.

The Registrar will flag the student's record on Banner so that other computer users will see a confidentiality warning when the student's record is accessed electronically. State University of New York College at Plattsburgh assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request in writing the withholding of categories of directory information indicates individual approval for disclosure.

Once confidentiality is requested, the student is responsible for informing the Registrar of any changes to that request.

What Student Information can be Released without my (the Student's) Consent?

The law allows disclosure without consent to:

  • University employees with a legitimate educational "need to know."
  • Appropriate agencies determining a student's eligibility, amount or conditions of financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of aid.
  • Parents of a student over the age of 18 and still a dependent (as defined by IRS Code of 1954, Section 152).
  • Certain government officials of the US Department of Education, the Comptroller General, state and local educational authorities in connection with an audit, authorized representatives of the Attorney General for law enforcement purposes or state and federally supported education programs.
  • University officials who need to know in regards to disciplinary action taken against a student.
  • Persons who need to know in cases of emergency to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals.
  • State and local authorities of the juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law.
  • Alleged victim of a crime of violence, with regards to the outcome of a disciplinary proceeding relating to that crime.
  • Parent or legal guardian of a student under the age of 21, regarding any violation of university policy or state, federal or local law governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
  • Those persons seeking directory information providing the student has not requested confidentiality.

With few exceptions provided by law, only directory information may be released to any outside source not officially connected to State University of New York College at Plattsburgh.

No further information will be released without the written consent of the student. Absolutely no transcript will be released outside the college without the student's signed authorization. No information concerning a student's grades will be released over the telephone.

The student's written consent is not required for the disclosure of grades, disciplinary action and other information to parents who have established that student's status as dependent (IRS Code of 1954, Section 152). If proof of dependency is not available in the student's financial aid records, parents requesting information must request in writing and submit proof of legal dependency, or provide written consent from the student.

FERPA Annual Notice to Reflect Possible Federal and State Data Collection and Use 5/24/2012

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records - including your social security number, your grades, or other private information - may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use –restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your educational records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

Student Rights

Students (or eligible parents) have the right to inspect and review the student's educational records. The College is not obligated to provide copies of the records, unless distance or other circumstances make it impossible for the student or parents to view the records in person. The College may charge a fee for copies.

Students do not have a right to see financial information submitted by parents; confidential letters and papers related to admissions, employment, job placement or honors to which a student has waived the right of inspection and review; or educational records that contain information about other students such as grades or test scores.

FERPA and Parents

All rights to student educational records transfer from parents to student when the student reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the secondary level. Parents may access student records if the student is claimed as a dependent for Federal income tax purposes.

Under such circumstances access is granted to both parents, whether or not both are claiming. If neither parent claims the student as a dependent, parents may have access only if the student is willing to release the information. Such a release must be made in writing to the registrar's office.

Students' Right to File a Complaint

Any student alleging failure of the college to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may file a complaint with:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Official FERPA government link

Contact Information

For more information, please contact the Registrar's Office:

Phone: (518) 564-2100
Fax: (518) 564-4900
Email: registrar@plattsburgh.edu

Mailing Address:
The Office of the Registrar
Plattsburgh State University of New York
101 Broad St
Plattsburgh, NY 12901