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Your Privacy Rights: Questions and Answers


What is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

A federal law that protects your education records and provides you with the following rights:

  • The right to inspect and review your education records;
  • The right to request the amendment of your education records;
  • The right to protect personally identifiable information.
  • For more information check out our main FERPA page.

What are education records?

Any information or data recorded in any medium that is directly related to a student.

What are NOT education records

  • Employee records (unless employment is contingent upon student status)
  • Private notes
  • Law enforcement records
  • Physician, psychiatrist, psychologist records Alumni records (collected after student leaves)

What is "Directory Information?"

Student data which is considered to be public information and may be made available to those who request it. This category 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. However, for the student's privacy and protection, Cal Poly only releases address and phone number to university related entities.

What is "Locator Information?"

Includes only: name, mailing address, preferred phone number, email address. Again, Cal Poly closely holds address and phone number for the student's privacy and protection.

Can I place a privacy restriction on "Directory Information" or "Locator Information?"

Yes, as a result:

  • You will not be included in the Cal Poly on-line Directory -
  • You will not receive mailings from clubs and the Alumni Association;
  • ONLY materials related to your progress to degree will be mailed to you.

What is the difference between a "Directory" and "Locator" restriction?

  • A "Directory Information" restriction blocks Cal Poly from verifying any data without your signature.
  • A "Locator Information" restriction allows the University to verify your degree and dates of attendance without your signature.

What information is included in the on-line Directory

If no privacy restriction exists, the public Cal Poly directory include: name, email address and major. The Cal Poly Portal directory also includes preferred phone number.

Yes, FERPA includes these exceptions:

  • Health and Safety Emergencies
  • Subpoena, Ex Parte Order, or Search Warrants
  • Another educational institution to which you have enrolled or seek to enroll
  • Parents/guardians will be contacted if you are under 21 and caught using drugs and alcohol.

What is the default privacy restriction setting at Cal Poly?

The default is UNPROTECTED. No Directory Information is protected unless you set a restriction.

What happens after I leave Cal Poly?

If you have a privacy restriction on your record when you leave Cal Poly it will stay with your record into the future. IMPORTANT: A "Directory Information" restriction will block Cal Poly from verifying your attendance or degree to prospective employers without your signature.

How do I check or change my privacy restriction status?

Go to ; Personal Info tab.

How do I request to review my education records?



"Directory Information" may be disclosed by the university at its discretion. You have a choice of protecting all or part of this data. There are two categories that may be restricted: all "Directory Information" and "Locator Information."

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