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Student Records & Privacy FAQ

May information identified as "directory information" be disclosed without consent?

Yes: FERPA authorizes the University to make public disclosure, upon request, of information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.

May a student restrict the release of directory information?

Yes: To withold disclosure of directory information, written notification must be received in the Office of the Registrar. The restriction will be in force permanently, until rescinded by the student, in person with photo ID, or in writing with the student’s signature witnessed by a notary public. See Restricting the Release of Your Information.

Are student addresses and telephone numbers releasable information?

Yes: Student addresses and telephone numbers are releasable unless elected confidentiaility. See Restricting the Release of Your Information.

Is a student's class schedule releasable information?

No: A student’s class schedule may only be released with the specific, written, signed authorization of the student.

Do directory information restrictions remain in force at WOU for former students who have stopped attending?

Yes: The restriction of information is permanent until revoked, in writing, by the student. See Restricting the Release of Your Information.

Does any university faculty member have the right to view the education records of any WOU student?

No: A faculty member or any other university official must demonstrate a legitimate educational interest in the information in order to gain access.

Does a police officer conducting a criminal investigation always have the right to access student education records?

No: A law enforcement official must present one of the following in order to have access to education records: a specific written, signed release from the student; a valid subpoena; or judicial order. In the case of a valid subpoena or judicial order, the university will notify the student before releasing the information unless the subpoena or judicial order appropriately specifies nondisclosure.

Are grades, GPA, and academic standing all releasable information?

No: Grades, GPA, and academic standing may only be released with the specific, written, signed authorization of the student.

Can my instructor post my grades on a publicly available list?

ONLY by using randomly generated codes or numbers known only to the instructor and the student.

They may not use the student ID#/part of the ID# or the SSN/part of the SSN for this purpose. The list has to be sorted in a random order, not by student name.

Is it ok if the instructor hands back assignments by passing a stack down the rows?

No: If you will see the grades of other students when retrieving your assignment it is not allowed. The return of graded papers or other assignments must also be accomplished in a manner that protects the identity of the student. Instructors should NOT leave graded assignments out for students to rummage through.

Is student participation on the WOU football team releasable information?

Yes: Participation in recognized university activities is releasable unless a student has opted out of releasing their directory information. See Restricting the Release of Your Information.

May a transcript of a student's academic record be sent to the student's parents without the student's consent if the student was claimed as a dependent on the parent's last tax return?

No: FERPA allows, but does not require, schools to recognize dependency for tax purposes as an exception to parental access to education records. Western Oregon University adheres to the basic FERPA principle that, upon enrollment at an institution of higher education, all education record access rights are conferred upon the student.

Do parents have a right to their student's academic records if they pay the student's tuition?

No: Once enrolled at the university, students control parental access to their records.