Institutional Assessment and Research

FERPA At A Glance

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (a.k.a. FERPA or the Buckley Amendment) is a federal legislation ordained in 1974 to govern student records. It gives students the right to access their own educational records and limits, for privacy reasons, the release of those same records to anyone other than the student and/or the student’s appointee. FERPA is applicable to all current and former students of the University. The bottom line is that Institutions have a legal mandate to protect student’s data by complying with FERPA.

CSUMB faculty and staff must protect the privacy of student education records and must not disclose personally identifiable information about a student or permit review of the student’s records without his/her written consent unless such action is permitted by FERPA.

What rights does FERPA grant students?

  • Right to inspect and review their education records
  • Right to request to amend their education records
  • Right to limit disclosure of some “personally identifiable information” (information that would directly identify the student or make the student’s identity easily traceable) known as directory information
  • Right to file a complaint concerning non-compliance of FERPA with the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education. Additional information is available at

What can institutions disclose?

  • Directory Information

The university designates the following items as directory information:

  • Student's Name
  • Assigned University E-mail Address
  • Major Field of Study
  • Degrees, Awards, and Honors Received
  • Participation in Officially Recognized Activities and Sports
  • Height and Weight Statistics of NCAA Student Athletes

The university designates the following items, in addition to those listed above, as directory information for academic student employees only:

  • Department Employed
  • Status as Student Employee (i.e., Instructional Student Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Graduate Assistant)


Just because you can disclose, does not mean that you have to disclose. Students can opt out of directory information.

What must institutions not disclose? Never release

  • Grade Information
  • Course Enrollment Information
  • Prior Major Information
  • Race/Ethnicity/Sex Information
  • Health Records
  • Employment Records
  • Services Used. For example, Disability Resources

For more on FERPA, visit: