DSU has responsibility under federal law, the Family Educational Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, to protect the privacy of student education records, and the obligations of the institution regarding the release of educational records and the access provided to these records. Student educational records considered confidential may not be released without the written consent of a student unless such action is covered by exceptions permitted by the Act.
If you have any questions, regarding any information contained here, please contact
the Office of Academic Records:
Allows students to provide a consent to disclose personally identifiable information
contained in their educational record. A student may either "ALLOW" the release of
their information or "REVOKE" the FERPA information they already have on file.
- Sign into Campus Connection
- Select the DSU eForms tile
- Select Records Office from the left menu
- Select "FERPA Release"
Please allow at least 5 business days for processing.
See Notification of Rights Under FERPA section below for specific details regarding student rights.
Students are defined as individuals who are or have been enrolled in credit classes at DSU, regardless of age or parental/guardian dependency status. FERPA does not apply to records of applicants for admission, who are denied acceptance and do not enroll in classes.
Educational records are those records, files, documents, or other materials that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by the University or by a party acting on behalf of the institution. This includes any information or data recorded in any medium such as handwritten, electronic, email, video, or audio tapes, etc. It is more than just the academic record and is not confined to the student’s file in the Office of Academic Records.
Some examples educational records are:
- A document with the student's name and ID
- Personally identifiable information (SSN, DOB, Student ID, Address, phone, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Residency status etc…)
- Grades/G.P.A./Academic Standing
- Class Schedule/Class Attendance/Rosters
- Exams, papers, and other graded projects
- Academic Performance
- A computer display screen
- Student financial records
What are not educational records:
- Sole possession records: Records (desk drawer notes) of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and not revealed to anyone.
- Law enforcement unit records: Records of our campus law enforcement unit created and maintained separately and used solely for law enforcement purposes.
- Employment records: Records relating to persons who are employees. NOTE: Records of individuals who are employed as a result of their status as students (e.g. work-study or graduate assistant) are education records.
- Medical records: Records kept and maintained by a health care professional, used solely in connection with medical or psychological treatment and are available only to individuals providing treatment. These records are protected by HIPAA.
- Student medical or treatment record released for any purpose other than treatment, the record becomes educational and is released according to FERPA.
- Alumni records: Records created by an institution after a student has left the institution.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are as follows:
The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
- Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights.
- Students may ask the University to amend a record and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to University officials with a legitimate educational interest. A University official is a person employed by the University or the North Dakota University System in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company supervising an educational experience (student teaching, clinical experience, practicum, internship, etc.); a person or organization related to credentialing or licensing a student; a person or company with whom the University or North Dakota University System has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); employees of the North Dakota Attorney General's Office providing legal representation to DSU; a person serving on the Board of Higher Education; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance Committee, or assisting another University or University System official in performing his or her tasks. A University official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
- Upon request, the University discloses education records without a student's consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which students' education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records—including Social Security Number, grades, or other private information—may be accessed without student consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to education records and PII without student consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to education records and PII without student consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when the university objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive student personally identifiable information, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS), State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without student consent personally identifiable information from education records, and they may track student participation in education and other programs by linking such personally identifiable information to other personal information about students that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
The right to request the following categories of personally identifiable information, or 'directory information', not be made public:
- Student Name *
- Hometown (city, state)
- Campus E-mail address **
- Height, weight and photos of athletic team members
- Major field of study (all declared majors)
- Minor field of study (all declared minors)
- Class level
- Dates of attendance
- Enrollment status (withdrawn, less than half-time, half-time, three-quarter-time, full time)
- Names of previous institutions attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Honors/awards received
- Degree earned (all degrees earned)
- Date degree earned (dates of all degrees earned)
- Directory photos, photographs and video recordings of student in public or non-classroom settings (photographs from classrooms or class-related activities are NOT directory information)
*If a student provides a preferred name, the University tries to use it when communicating directly with the student. Preferred name is a supported business practice, unless there is a documented business or legal reason to use a student’s legal name. When communicating with outside third parties, including parents, University generally uses a student’s legal name.
**Campus email addresses are only disclosed to requestors who agree not to use them for solicitation.
Students may provide consent to release non-directory information (financial and academic records) to designated third parties by completing the FERPA Release Form. The release remains in effect until revoked in writing.
A student may either “ALLOW” the release of their information or “REVOKE” the release of information if they already have on file by completing the following:
- Sign into Campus Connection
- Select the DSU eForms tile
- Select Records Office from the left menu
- Select "FERPA Release"
Restrict Directory Information
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, students have the right to request directory information not be made public by contacting the Office of Academic Records. DSU will honor student requests to withhold directory information until the student makes the request in writing to lift the restriction. DSU receives inquiries for "directory information" from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, prospective employers, government agencies, news media, parents, other colleges and universities, licensing agencies, etc. DSU has no responsibility to contact students for subsequent permission to release directory information after it is restricted.
Any student wishing to exercise this right must contact the Office of Academic Records, May Hall, room 111 for additional information.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failure by DSU to comply with the requirements of FERPA:
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20202
- When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending post-secondary institution regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer to the student.
- Parents may obtain non-directory information when their student has provided a signed consent (FERPA Release) to the institution or provides evidence of dependency as defined by Internal Revenue Code of 1986 – Section 152.
- Students may give access to a parent/guardian as a proxy to view or perform some actions in Campus Connection, such as view grades/classes or pay tuition.
Federal regulations allow electronic signatures; signed releases are still required for most transactions.
- All employees are responsible for protecting the confidentiality of student education records.
- “Need to Know” - Access to student data required to perform job responsibilities and role with the university.
- Data stored/transmitted electronically must be secure and only available to those entitled to it.
- Be vigilant and report any FERPA violations.
- Use SSN or student ID in posting grades or other information
- Release non-directory student information without written consent of the student
- Release class schedule to locate a student
- Release directory information if student has directory information suppressed
- Leave sensitive information on desk/desktop when away from office
- Discard documents with sensitive information without proper destruction and disposal
- Leave graded papers in a stack for student pick up
- Circulate printed lists with student IDs, SSNs, or grades for attendance, verification, or distribution
- Discuss student progress with anyone other than the student without consent on file with the Office of Academic Records
- Access student records for personal reasons or reasons not related to job responsibilities
- Release lists with sensitive student information to third parties outside your department