Things to know about FERPA

You’ve probably heard quite a bit about FERPA as you and your student attended orientation, registered for classes and applied for financial aid. Often, families have questions about how they can receive information about their student in order to pay bills or just more generally support them. 

Here, we share some basic information on how to work with your student to ensure that you are getting the information you need.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S Department of Education. What is included in a student’s education record, you ask?

According to FERPA’s website, education records are “(1) directly related to a student; and (2) maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting for the agency or institution.” Practically speaking, this includes a student’s grades, course schedule, financial aid history, student account statement, and virtually any other record maintained by DePaul that personally identifies a student. 

Just because you don’t have direct access to your student’s education record does not mean you can’t get that information. Your student can give you permission to receive information from their education record, or they can otherwise share that information with you, and DePaul strongly encourages students to communicate directly with their parents and/or family members regarding academic progress and other important issues.

Students are responsible for setting and maintaining their FERPA release preferences in Campus Connect, and they can give DePaul permission to share education record information with you here. 

Make sure to talk to your student about this if you haven’t already, and ask them to add you.

Most offices at DePaul have a “FERPA release” that students can sign to allow the school to share information from their education record. FERPA also has a “health and safety emergency exception” which permits school officials to disclose information from education records to appropriate parties without consent if the university reasonably determines such disclosure is necessary for the safety of a student or other individuals. 

DePaul also recommends that students list their parent(s)/guardian(s) as their emergency contact in Campus Connect. 

Finally, DePaul’s Student Care Team meets to consider the needs of students of concern who have a wide range of behavioral, psychological, physical, social, or academic needs. DePaul will engage families and other supportive resources to help students get the help they need if a student comes to our attention whose behavior falls within certain areas (health, safety, alcohol, controlled substances).  

  
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