FERPA Guidelines for Employees


The Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law that provides students certain rights with respect to their educational records and applies to schools receiving public funding under the Department of Education. This law states that when a child turns 18 or enrolls in a higher education institution at any age and becomes a student, the right to privacy becomes theirs. Written consent must then be received from the student before private records can be released. Exceptions are information considered by Troy University as Directory Information. This information can be released without the student’s consent. Refer any questions regarding directory information or the release of information to the local Registrar’s office.

Faculty and staff should keep the following guidelines in mind:

  1. DO NOT release student educational records information without consulting the Registrar’s office FIRST. Educational records include any record maintained by the institution that contains personally identifiable information to the student. Exemptions are:
    • Private advising notes in the sole possession of the maker
    • Law enforcement records created and maintained by law enforcement
    • Employment records (unless based on a student status). The employment records of student employees (work study, wages, graduate teaching assistants) are part of education records.
    • Medical/psychological treatment records
    • Alumni records (those created AFTER the student graduated or left Troy University)
  2. ONLY the appropriate educational record custodian may release information about a student’s record to parties outside of Troy University. Refer requests for release of information to the Registrar’s Office.
  3. DO NOT share educational information with colleagues or co-workers unless a legitimate educational interest exists.
  4. DO NOT provide students with copies of their Transcripts from other institutions.
Other things to remember:
  1. DO NOT circulate sign-in sheets or other material that may contain student ID numbers or social security numbers.
  2. DO NOT share non-directory information with parents or other family members unless the student is present and provides consent or a consent form is signed. Please refer these requests to the Registrar’s Office.
  3. DO NOT provide non-directory information to third parties such as prospective employers, without the student’s written consent.
  4. DO keep any personal professional records relating to individual students separate from education records. Private notes intended for a faculty/staff member’s own use are not part of education records.
  5. DO NOT leave your computer or confidential information unattended. You are responsible for the security of your computer and any confidential information. Should that information fall into the wrong hands due to inattention, staff, faculty, and Troy University could be legally liable.
  6. DO shred unneeded or outdated documents containing personal student information such as grades, social security numbers, etc. Placing such information in the trash is a FERPA violation.

Staff specific guidelines:
A. DO NOT release student class schedules. This information is protected and confidential.

Faculty specific guidelines:
A. DO NOT display student scores or grades publicly.