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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (also known as the Buckley

Amendment), affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.

Specifically, students have the right to:

1. inspect and review their education records;

2. request the amendment of inaccurate or misleading records;

3. consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their

education record; and

4. file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures of the institution to comply with this law.


How does FERPA apply to teaching personnel?

The law requires that teaching personnel treat students’ education records in a legally specified manner.


It is strongly suggested that students’ scores or grades not be displayed publicly. Even with names obscured, Social Security numbers and Student ID numbers (W numbers) are considered personally identifiable information and must not be used.If it is absolutely necessary to post grades or scores, a code word or number known only to the faculty member and the student must be used to assure that the student’s privacy is not compromised.Partial Social Security numbers or W numbers may not be used, nor should the information be posted in alphabetical sequence by student name. Grades, transcripts, or degree audits distributed for purposes of advisement should not be placed in plain view in open mailboxes located in public places.


Graded papers or tests should not be left unattended on a desk or in a box in plain view in a public area nor should students sort through them in order to retrieve their own work.

Class rosters/grade sheets:

These and other reports should be handled in a confidential manner and the information contained in them should not be disclosed to third parties. Copies of class rosters containing students’ Social Security numbers or W numbers should not be routed in the classroom for attendance taking or any other purpose.


Parents, spouses, and other relations do not have a right to information contained in a student’s education record, nor do they have the right to discuss the student’s performance.


Employers do not have a right to educational information pertaining to a student.


Access to the student information on WyoWeb is not tantamount to authorization to view the data. Faculty and Graduate Assistants are deemed to be “school officials” and can access data in WyoWeb if they have a legitimate educational interest. UW staff members may obtain access if they have a legitimate educational need to know. A legitimate educational interest exists if the staff member needs to view the education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Neither curiosity nor personal interest is a legitimate educational “need to know.”

Letters of recommendation:

Do not include information about students’ grades or grade point averages in letters of recommendation without the written permission of the student.

Students’ schedules:

Do not provide anyone with a student’s schedule; do not assist anyone other than a university employee in finding a student on campus. Refer such inquiries to the Dean of Students Office.

Confidentiality Flag:

Students may elect to keep information, including address, phone number,and other directory information private. If a student has chosen this option, the word private will appear under the student’s name in WyoWeb. The student should provide photo ID when making inquiries about his or her academic record.

Lists of students:

Do not provide anyone with lists of students enrolled in your classes for any commercial purpose. Requests of this nature should be referred to the Office of the Registrar. When in doubt, contact the Office of the Registrar for guidance (307)766-5272.

The University of Wyoming strives to fully comply with this law by protecting the privacy of student records and judiciously evaluating requests for release of information from these records. please contact the Office of the Registrar

(307) 766-5272

More information about FERPA, as well as specific scenarios can be found at:

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