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Notification of Student Rights Under FERPA

This page explains legal rights students have for protection of their academic records.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Information

Federal law requires Washington State University (WSU) to annually notify current students of their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Under FERPA, a student has the right to:

1. Inspect and review his or her education records. "Education records" are those records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by WSU or by a party acting for WSU. Students shall submit a written request to the Registrar's Office identifying the record that they wish to inspect. The Registrar's Office will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Registrar's Office, the student's request will be forwarded to the correct WSU official.

2. Request the amendment of the contents of the student's education records that the student considers to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights. A student shall submit a written request to the WSU official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student within a reasonable time of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the challenged record. Additional information about hearing procedures will be provided to the student at that time.

3. Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Education records may be disclosed to school officials with a legitimate educational interest. A school official is: a person employed by WSU in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including health staff and WSU police); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee (such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks). A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her educational responsibilities. WSU forwards education records to other agencies or institutions that have requested the records and in which the student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer. Information from a student's education records may be released to appropriate persons in connection with a health or safety emergency.

4. File with the Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by Washington State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Complaints should be addressed to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-8520.

DIRECTORY INFORMATION: Washington State University may release directory information contained in a student's education records. "Directory Information" means information contained in an education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory information includes the following: name (including any former name), local and permanent addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, major and minor fields of study, participation in officially recognized sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate, graduate; full-time or part-time), grade level, status as graduate assistant and assignment, degrees, certificates, and awards received, including the President's Honor Roll, and the most recent previous educational institution attended by the student. Students may request that WSU not release directory information by indicating "restrict address" on WSU's myWSU Portal's address update screen, or by filing a written request with the Registrar's Office by the tenth day of the academic semester.

NOTE: If a student files a directory restriction at WSU, his or her name, address, phone number and email address will not be published in the campus directory. In addition, WSU will not release the student's name in any WSU press releases, including President's Honor Roll notification to hometown newspapers. For more information on directory restrictions, please contact the Registrar's Office, French Administration Building, Room 346.

Additional Resources on FERPA. The Department of Education has provided some useful information for schools, students and parents regarding privacy laws and school safety. Please read this brochure for more information. Also, additional information for parents regarding FERPA may be found at the Department of Education website.

The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 requires all postsecondary institutions participating in federal student aid programs to disclose campus security policies and certain crime statistics. Yearly statistics on campus crimes must be provided to students, faculty, and prospective students. The WSU Police Department publishes an annual disclosure report.