A-Z Index


What You Should Know About FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) as a Faculty Member at Northwest Missouri State University

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (commonly known as the Buckley Amendment), is a federal law which provides that colleges and universities will maintain the confidentiality of student education records.  Basically, the law says that no one outside the institution shall have access to a student's education records nor will the institution disclose any information from those records without the written consent of the student.

Student educational records are specifically defined as records, files, documents and other materials that contain information directly related to a student and maintained by the University or someone acting for the University.  At Northwest, educational records custodians are:

Academic Records:  Registrar's Office, Administration Building

Advisement Records:  Academic Advisor or the Registrar's Office

Alumni Records:  Office of Alumni Relations, Alumni House

Disciplinary Records: Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, J.W. Jones Student Union

Financial Records:  Office of the Treasurer, Administration Building

Financial Assistance Records:  Financial Assistance Office, Administration Building

Housing Records:  Residential Life Office, J.W. Jones Student Union

Library Records:  B.D. Owens Library

Medical Records:  University Health Center

Placement Records:  Office of Career Services, Administration Building

Security Records:  University Police

Student Teaching Records:  Educational Field Experiences Office

Teacher Education Records:  Teacher Education Student Services Office

Certain information about the currently enrolled student-name, age, address, telephone, email address, place and date of birth, major, participation in activities and sports, weight and height of athletes, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent educational institution attended-is considered public information.  If a student does not want this information released, he or she should file a request with the Registrar's Office within 10 days of the beginning of the term.  The on-line student directory information is considered a unit; thus, non-release of that information eliminates the student from the directory.

At the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent rights to inspect a student's education records.  The right to inspect is limited solely to the student.  Records can be released to parents only under the following circumstances:  1) through a written consent of the student, 2) in compliance with a valid subpoena, or 3) by producing a copy of the most recent Federal Income Tax form showing the student was claimed as a dependent.  The one exception that the 1998 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act provides is for institutions to notify parents in the event of student disciplinary actions as result of drug and alcohol infractions.  Northwest may inform parents of flagrant and/or repeated violations. Page content