What is FERPA?

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

When your student turns 18 years old or begins attending a postsecondary institution at any age, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) law is designed to protect the privacy of your student's educational records and gives the student the right to:

  • Have access to educational records
  • Seek to have their records amended
  • Have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records

Current or formerly enrolled students, including continuing education students, are protected under the act. Students who have applied, but have not attended are not protected.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Education records are defined as records that are directly related to the student, maintained by the college or a party acting for the college.

Education records are not:

  • Sole possession records(possessed by the maker only)
  • Law enforcement records
  • Employment records (unless contingent on attendance)
  • Medical records
  • Post-attendance records 

In order to have access to your student's record, your student must appear in-person in the Office of Student Records (SRC 2150) and sign a release form.

With your student's consent, you can access non-directory information from your student's record. Information that can directly identify your student or make your student's identity easily traceable is considered non-directory.

Non-directory information includes your student's name in combination with the following items:

  • Student's parents or other family member
  • Student or family address
  • Student's Social Security number, COD ID number or other identifying number
  • Student's schedule
  • List of personal characteristics (such as gender, race, ethnicity or religion)
  • Grading or attendance information
  • Other information that could make the student's identity easily traceable (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act and College of DuPage Board Policy 20-15) 

Directory information can be disclosed without your student's consent. Directory information is available to the public and includes your student's:

  • Name
  • College-issued email address
  • Community
  • Major field of study
  • Participating in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Terms attended
  • Enrollment status (full or part time student)
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Last educational institution attended by the student

Your student has the right to request that this information be withheld from you by contacting the Office of Student Records (SRC 2150) and completing proper documentation.

If the college has obtained prior written consent from the student, non-directory information can be released to:

  • Anyone if the college has obtained prior written consent
  • School officials whom the college has determined have a legitimate educational interest
  • Other categories designed by FERPA (There is a list available in the Office of Student Records.)