General Campus Policies and Procedures

48 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA General Guidance for Students

The following guidance provides eligible students with general information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This document is a compilation and update of various letters and guidance documents previously issued that respond to a variety of questions about FERPA. While this guidance reflects our best and most current interpretation of applicable FERPA requirements, it does not supersede the statute or regulations. We will attempt to update this document from time to time in response to questions and concerns.

FERPA is a Federal law that is administered by the Family Policy Compliance Office (Office) in the U.S. Department of Education (Department). 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99. FERPA applies to all educational agencies and institutions (e.g., schools) that receive funding under any program administered by the Department. Parochial and private schools at the elementary and secondary levels generally do not receive such funding and are, therefore, not subject to FERPA. Private postsecondary schools, however, generally do receive such funding and are subject to FERPA.

Once a student reaches 18 years of age or attends a postsecondary institution, he or she becomes an “eligible student,” and all rights formerly given to parents under FERPA transfer to the student. The eligible student has the right to have access to his or her education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, the right to have control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the records (except in certain circumstances specified in the FERPA regulations, some of which are discussed below), and the right to file a complaint with the Department. The term “education records” is defined as those records that contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution.

FERPA generally prohibits the improper disclosure of personally identifiable information derived from education records. Thus, information that an official obtained through personal knowledge or observation, or has heard orally from others, is not protected under FERPA. This remains applicable even if education records exist which contain that information, unless the official had an official role in making a determination that generated a protected education record.

Under FERPA, a school is not generally required to maintain particular education records or education records that contain specific information. Rather, a school is required to provide certain privacy protections for those education records that it does maintain. Also, unless there is an outstanding request by an eligible student to inspect and review education records, FERPA permits the school to destroy such records without notice to the student.

The academic record of anyone admitted to the college is confidential, if the student is under 18, the parent’s examination; and, the official use of the college in compliance with the “Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974″(PL 93-380), as amended by Public Law 93-568.


  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
  • Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), you have the right to:
  • Inspect and review information contained in your education records,
  • Challenge the contents of your education records,
  • Request a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory,
  • Submit an explanatory statement for the education record if the outcome of the hearing is unsatisfactory,
  • Prevent disclosure with certain exceptions of personally identifiable information,
  • Secure a copy of the institution policy, and
  • File a complaint with the Department of Education concerning alleged failures by institutions to comply with the Act. Written complaints should be directed to FERPA, Department of Education, Room 4074, Switzer Building, Washington, D.C. 20202.

Directory Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 protects the privacy of your education records. However, the following information is considered public or directory information and may be disclosed unless the student requests otherwise:

* Name

* Enrollment Status (Full/Part-time)

* Previous School Attended

  • Academic College
  • Academic Program/Major
  • City of Home Address
  • Admit Status (e.g. accepted)
  • Athletic Participation
  • Class Level (e.g. Freshmen)
  • Dates of Attendance

* Degrees/Honors/Awards Received

*All transcripts, test scores, correspondence or other materials submitted to the Registrar’s Office become the property of Murray State College and will not be returned.


Records Access by MSC Personnel:

MSC support staff members may have access to a student’s educational records if they have a Legitimate Educational Interest. This means they need the information to fulfill a specific professional duty.

The following is a list of information items that are NOT considered educational records and thus are not subject to student review:

  • Law-enforcement records
  • Records maintained exclusively for individuals in their capacity as employees. HOWEVER, records of those who are employed as a result of their status as students (work-study, student workers, etc.) ARE educational records
  • Medical Treatment Records
  • Alumni Records
  • Sole-source/Sole-possession documents. Sole-source/possession documents are notes (memory joggers—not grade or GPA related) created by you, meant for your eyes only. As long as no one else ever sees or knows about them, they remain private and are not subject to FERPA.


For more information on FERPA:

You may contact any of the following offices: at 580.387.7000

Registrar at 580.387.7230

Student Affairs Office at 580.387.7139

Academic Advisement Office at 580.387.7201



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