Who Has Access to Non-Directory Information?
With several exceptions provided by FERPA, USD cannot release personally identifiable non-directory information in an education record without prior written consent from the student. Some examples of non-directory information include:
- birth date
- religious affiliation
- disciplinary status
- grade point average (GPA)
- marital status
- SSN/student I.D.
- grades/exam scores
- test scores (e.g., SAT, GRE, etc.)
- progress reports
USD protects the privacy of all enrolled students. However, students may grant their parents (or others) permission to access their educational records by filing an Student Information Release Authorization form [PDF] with the appropriate Registrar's Office. This form remains in effect until rescinded by the student in writing.
The student's prior written consent is not required to disclose non-directory information under the following circumstances:
Access by parents of dependent students, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
Parents or guardians who wish to obtain access to their student's education records may file a Request for Release of Education Records form [PDF] with the appropriate Registrar's Office. This form must be filed annually with USD because tax dependency status can change from year to year.
An education agency or institution must use reasonable methods to identify and authenticate the identity of parents, students, school officials, and any other parties to whom the agency or institution discloses personally identifiable information. The use of widely available information such as name, date of birth, Social Security number, or student ID number to authenticate identity is not considered reasonable by the Office of Family Policy Compliance. No other guidance as to what are reasonable methods has been provided.
Access by school officials who the institution has determined to have a legitimate educational interest; access by school officials at other schools where the student seeks to enroll.
A "school official" is any person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit, health staff, and student workers); a person or a company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a person assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a "legitimate educational interest" if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Typically, there are two types of situations in which colleges may elect to identify students as college officials with legitimate educational interests: (1) employment by the college to assist another employee who is a college official; or (2) service on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee.
- Access for the purpose of awarding financial aid. Personally identifiable information may be required to determine eligibility for aid, the amount of the aid, the conditions for the aid, or to enforce the terms or conditions of the aid.
- Access by the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) to international student information as defined in The Federal Register 8CFR Section 214.3(g). The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services requires the PDSO to update the federal SEVIS database every semester or every time a change occurs in an international student's record.
- Access for the purpose of responding to a subpoena or an ex parte order. All subpoenas and ex parte orders must be delivered to and reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel before any information can be released.
- Access required by the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act.
- Access to or the release, transfer, or other communication of personally identifiable information contained in education records is not a disclosure when the information goes to the party identified as the party that provided or created the record.
Forwarding Education Records
A school may forward education records to other institutions that have requested records when a student seeks to enroll or is already enrolled provided the disclosure is related to the student’s enrollment or transfer and the school has stated in its annual FERPA notification that it follows this practice.
FERPA requires that all disclosures of education records that were not specifically authorized by the student be recorded as part of the student’s education record so that the student will become aware of the disclosure during an inspection of the student’s education record.
All colleges and universities are required to maintain a list of currently enrolled sex offenders. Contact Public Safety for more information.