Family Educational Rights
and Privacy Act of 1974
I. What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also
known as "FERPA" or the "Buckley Amendment," protects the
privacy of student education records. The Act affords students
the right to (a) consent to disclosures of personally identifiable
information contained in their education records, except when
FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent; (b) inspect and
review their education records within 45 days of the university's
receipt of their request; (c) request amendment of an education
record thought to be inaccurate or misleading; and (d) file a
complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning
the university's alleged failure to comply with FERPA.
II. Who is protected under FERPA?
Students who are currently attending or who have previously
attended at Cal State Fullerton are protected by FERPA. FERPA
does not apply to records of applicants who are denied accept-
ance or, if accepted, do not attend Cal State Fullerton.
III. What is "personally identifiable
"Personally identifiable" information is data or information that
if known, would make a student's identity easily traceable. For
example, a student's name, address and social security number
are all personally identifiable information.
IV. What is an "education record?"
An "education record" is any record related directly to a student,
produced in any medium including but not limited to handwrit-
ing, print, tape, computer or film, and maintained by the univer-
sity or an agent of the university, except for:
a. Personal records of instructional, administrative and educa-
tional personnel, which are in the sole possession of the
maker and not accessible or revealed to any individual
except a temporary substitute;
b. Employment records of individuals whose employment is
not contingent on their student status, provided the records
are used only in relation to the individual's employment.
c. Records maintained by university police solely for law
enforcement purposes and revealed only to law enforcement
agencies of the same jurisdiction;
d. Records relating to treatment provided by a physician, psy-
chiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or
paraprofessional and disclosed only to individuals providing
e. Records that contain information about a student after that
student no longer attends the university and do not relate to
that individual as a student.
V. Who would generally be permitted access
to an education record without the student's
written consent from a student?
Cal State Fullerton will not disclose or permit access to any per-
sonally identifiable information from a student's education
record without that student's prior written consent except to:
a. School officials who have a legitimate educational interest in
the education record. Disclosure to a school official with a
legitimate educational interest does not constitute authoriza-
tion for that individual to share this information with others
not having a legitimate educational interest in the education
record. Any information received, after the purpose for its
review has been fulfilled, should be destroyed or returned to
the originating office for appropriate disposition;
b. Officials of other institutions, upon request, in which a stu-
dent seeks or intends to enroll;
c. FERPA-specified representatives of federal, state, and local
agencies and authorities associated with state and federally
supported education programs;
d. Persons or organizations responding to a student's request
for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the
eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to
enforce the terms and conditions of the aid;
e. Institutions conducting studies to develop, validate, and
administer predictive tests, or to improve instruction;
f. Accrediting agencies carrying out their function;
g. Parents of a student who claim that student as a dependent
for income tax purposes. Prior to any such release, the uni-
versity will notify the student of the request and impending
h. Comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
When relevant to the proceedings, to a court in the event
that a parent or student has initiated a legal action against
the university, or in the event that the university has initiat-
ed a legal action against a parent or student.
Protect the health and safety of students and other persons
in an emergency;
An alleged victim of a FERPA-specified crime of violence or
non-forcible sex offense, only as necessary to convey the
final outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding
against the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to
Federal, state and local officials under FERPA-specified, lim-
VI. Who is a "school official" and what is a
"legitimate educational interest?"
Cal State Fullerton has defined "school official" to mean univer-
sity employees (including law enforcement and health person-
nel); agents of the University (such as an attorney or collection
agent); or individuals, including students, serving on official
committees or assisting a school official perform his/her tasks.
Cal State Fullerton has defined "legitimate educational interest"
to mean when a school official must review an education record
to fulfill their professional responsibility.
VII. What is directory information?
This personally identifiable information may be released general-
ly with a student's prior written consent. Cal State Fullerton des-
ignates the following as Directory information: