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A Summary of FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

FERPA, as amended, helps protect the privacy of students’ education records. The Act provides students the right to inspect and review their education records, the right to seek to amend those records, and the right to limit disclosure of information from those records.

The University may not disclose protected or confidential information from a student's education record, with some exceptions, including: Student's Written Consent; Valid Subpoenas; Search Warrants; Ex Parte Order (Patriot Act); or Emergency/Crisis Situation.

All information not listed in Directory Information (below) is considered Non-Directory and must remain confidential, with the above noted exceptions. PROTECTED information includes: Class Rosters, Student/Empl ID's, Student Class Schedules, Grades, GPA, etc.

Only Directory Information* may be released to non-University Officials without the student's permission, unless that information has been protected by the student. Students have the right to protect all Directory Information*, or a subset of that information called Locator Information**.

*Directory includes: name, mailing address, preferred phone number, email address, photograph, previous institution attended, major field of study, degrees and awards received, dates of attendance, height and weight of athletes, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and Unit 11 employment information.

**Locator includes: name, mailing address, preferred telephone listing, email address.

Cal Poly students are able to protect their Directory Information or a subset of their Directory Information via the my.calpoly.edu Portal.

  • Faculty and Staff are reminded that the Office of the Registrar is the designated Custodian of Academic Records for the campus, and is responsible for issuing official verifications of academic data. Only the Registrar's Office may issue official transcripts for students; this extends to releasing and/or verifying student academic data that is requested.
  • Faculty and staff of academic departments and colleges may provide letters of reference and recommendations for students. These letters must be based on personal information and knowledge of the student and must not give out academic data including disciplinary actions, and/or academic standing.
  • If a Department/College chooses, it may provide students with the campus Departmental FERPA Release Form (Word); this form allows students to provide permission for the Department/College to discuss specific elements of their academic record and/or performance with their parents/guardian/sponsor. 

For additional information on FERPA:

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