Carnegie Mellon Engineering

Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of students and their education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. Also called the Buckley Amendment, FERPA ensures the following rights to all students:

  • The right to review their education records

  • The right to seek amendment to inaccurate or misleading records

  • The right to consent to disclosure of their education records

  • The right to file a complaint with the FERPA office in Washington, D.C.

As faculty, it's your responsibility to protect any education records in your possession. Excepting basic directory information, only a school official with legitimate educational interest may have access to a student’s education record without that student’s written permission.


FERPA Regulations

  • A student does not become entitled to rights under FERPA until they are officially admitted to Carnegie Mellon.

  • Student educational records are considered confidential and may NOT be released without the written consent of the student, this includes to graduate schools, employers, and other references.

  • Some information is considered public directory information. This information can be released without the student’s written permission: student's name, electronic email address, hometown (city, state), weight and height of students on athletic teams, Carnegie Mellon dates of attendance, major field(s) of study, degrees and certificates received, participation in officially recognized university activities, academic honors, awards, and scholarships. NOTE: A student may opt to consider this information confidential. The "need to know" principle applies.

    Faculty should have access to information only for legitimate use in completion of their responsibilities as a university employee. If ever have doubt, do not release any information until you talk Enrollment Services at 8-8186.

To avoid FERPA violations, DO NOT:

  • Post grades in public or use any portion of the Social Security number or student ID number of a student in a public posting of grades.

  • Link the name of a student with that student's ID number or Social Security number in any public manner.

  • Leave graded tests in a stack for students to pick up by sorting through the papers of other students.

  • Circulate a printed class list with student names and student ID numbers or grades as an attendance roster.

  • Discuss the progress of any student with anyone other than the student, including parents, student roommates, etc., without the consent of the student.

  • Give anyone a student's course schedule other than university employees to locate a student on campus.