FERPA Tutorial



To be allowed access to student records, you must carefully review the material presented in this site. Maintaining confidentiality of student records is everyone’s responsibility whether you are faculty, staff or student.



This tutorial is designed to give you a base level knowledge of the rules governing release of student information.

The tutorial takes approximately ten(10) minutes to complete.


FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (sometimes called the Buckley Amendment). Passed by Congress in 1974, the Act grants four specific rights to the adult student:

  • the right to see the information that the institution is keeping on the student
  • the right to seek amendment to those records and in certain cases append a statement to the record
  • the right to consent to disclosure of his/her records
  • the right to file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington


Just about any information provided by a student to the college for use in the educational process is considered a student educational record:

  • personal information
  • enrollment records
  • grades
  • schedules

The storage media in which you find this information does not matter. Student educational record may be:

  • a document in the registrar’s office
  • a computer printout in your office
  • a class list on your desktop
  • a computer display screen
  • notes you have taken during an advisement session


Student educational records are considered confidential and may not be released without the written consent of the student.

When is consent not required? (This is not an exhaustive list of exceptions)

  • For legitimate educational purposes within the college
  • To officials at an institution in which student seeks to enroll
  • To comply with a court order or subpoena
  • In connection with a health or safety emergency if necessary to protect the student or others
  • To parents of students who are dependents for income tax purposes
  • If if is directory information
  • To parents of a student younger than 21 years of age if the disclosure concerns discipline for violation of the campus drug and alcohol policy

As a faculty or staff member you have a responsibility to protect educational records in your possession.

Some information is considered public (sometimes called “Directory Information”). This info can be released without the student’s written permission. However, the student may opt to consider this info confidential as well. Directory Information is: name, address, phone, dates of attendance, degrees received, major program, height weight of athletes, email address, full or part time status, and date of birth.

You have access to information only for legitimate use in completion of your responsibilities as a college employee. Need to know is the basic principle.

If you are ever in doubt, do not release any information until you contact the Dean of Student Services. The Dean of Student Services is responsible for student record information.

Please Review


  1. POLICY.The Board of Trustees, on April 27, 1977, approved the following policy: The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is in compliance with provisions granted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 [and subsequent revisions]. Under this law, students enrolled in any educational institution receiving federal funds are given certain rights concerning their school records. The policy of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College provides for:
    1. Informing students of their rights;
    2. Permitting students to inspect and review their educational records;
    3. Not disclosing personally identifiable information from the educational records of a student without the prior written consent of the student except as otherwise permitted as defined in Section II. D. of this statement;
    4. Maintaining the record of disclosures of personally identifiable information from the education records of a student and permitting the student to inspect that record; and
    5. Providing the students with an opportunity to seek the correction of their records and permitting the student to place a statement in their educational records.
  2. PROCEDURES AND RESPONSIBILITIES The following procedures implement the Board policy quoted above.
    1. Students have the right to inspect and review their educational records to ensure that these records are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the students. Students may request correction or deletion of any such inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate data contained therein. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Policies and Procedures 155
    2. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College follows the policy of allowing students, upon request, access to their records within a maximum of 45 days as provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
    3. The college may publicly share directory information; however, students may request the College to withhold directory information. The Request to Withhold Directory Information is available in the Admissions Office at each campus or Administrative Office center. Directory information, as defined in the following paragraph, will be provided to military recruiters upon request in accordance with the Solomon Amendment. The college allows the following directory information to be made public through one or more publications: the student‘s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees received, awards received, and major field of study.
    4. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will not release to any third party the educational records of eligible students (age 18 and older) without their written consent other than for the following exceptions:
      1. College officials who have legitimate educational interests.
      2. Officials from other schools, school systems, or postsecondary educational institutions where the student seeks or intends to enroll.
      3. Authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General.
      4. Authorized representatives of the U. S. Attorney General.
      5. The U. S. Department of Education.
      6. State and local educational authorities.
      7. Authorized state and local officials and authorities.
      8. Authorized organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions.
      9. Accrediting agencies carrying out their accrediting functions.
      10. The alleged victim of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense.
      11. The parent of a dependent student as defined by the IRS.
      12. The parent of a student who is not an eligible student as defined under FERPA.
      13. The student.
      14. The parent of a student under the age of 21 regarding the student‘s violation of a federal, state, or local law, or institutional rule governing the use of possession of alcohol or controlled substance.
      15. Appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or others.

For a better understanding of the FERPA law please take the following QUIZ.