What is FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, is a federal
law that sets forth requirements regarding the privacy of student records. FERPA governs
the disclosure of student records maintained by an educational institution as well
as access to those records. Students enrolled in any course offered by KSU, at any
location or through any method of delivery (i.e., campus/on-site, hybrid, partially
online and fully online) are covered by FERPA. KSU defines an admitted student as
one who is in attendance upon enrollment/registration for classes. Institutions that
receive funds administered by the U.S. Department of Education are bound by FERPA
requirements and failure to comply may result in the loss of federal funding.
FERPA grants four specific rights to the student:
The right to inspect and review their education records.
The right to control the disclosure of their education records.
The right to seek to amend education records that are believed to be inaccurate or
The right to file a complaint to the federal government in regards to non-compliance
FERPA applies to all educational agencies or institutions, including Kennesaw State
University (KSU), which receive funds under any program administered by the U.S. Department
FERPA governs what may be released, but does not require that any information be released.
Directory Information vs. Non-Directory Information
- Directory Information- Can be shared without written consent.
- Non-Directory (or anything that is not directory information)- Can only be shared
with written consent.
Below is an exhaustive list of everything KSU defines as directory information, and
examples of some items KSU considers non-directory information.
Field of Study (Major)
Dates of Attendance
Degrees Awarded (including dates)
Awards and Honors Received
Weight and Height of Athletic Participants
Participation in Officially Recognized Activities or Sports
Grades, Credits hours (attempted or earned), and GPA
KSU Student Email Address
Personal Email Addresses
Social Security Number and/or Tax ID Number
Enrollment Status (part/full time)
Tuition and Fee Payment Records
Parent’s Name and Address
Current Class Schedule
Student Mailing Address
If you are ever in doubt, do not release any information until you contact the Office
of the Registrar: 470.578.6415.
The Office of the Registrar is the only university office authorized to issue official
transcripts and certify students’ enrollment status. All requests for such documentation
must be directed to this office.
If you are ever in doubt, do not release any information until you contact the Office
of the Registrar by phone 470.578.6415 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notification of Rights under FERPA for Post-Secondary Institutions
At KSU, students are notified of their FERPA rights in the Student Handbook, university
catalog, and the Registrar's webpage.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain
rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA
is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.)
These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after
the day the Kennesaw State University receives a request for access. A student should
submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate
official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect.
The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the
time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained
by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise
the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student
believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy
rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should
write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of
the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify
the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding
the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures
will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable
information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that
FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
Education records can be disclosed without a student’s prior written consent to school
officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed
by Kennesaw State University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research,
or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel); or a student
serving on an official committee, or who is assisting a school official in performing
his or her tasks (teaching assistants, research assistants, graduate assistants, and
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review
an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities at
Kennesaw State University.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged
failures by Kennesaw State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. A
parent of a student under the age of 18 at an elementary or secondary school or a
student who is at least 18 years of age or attending a postsecondary institution at
any age (“eligible student”) may file a written complaint with the Family Policy Compliance
Office (FPCO) regarding an alleged violation of a school’s failure to comply with
his or her rights under FERPA. A parent of an eligible student generally may not file
a complaint under FERPA, as the rights afforded to parents are transferred to the
student when he or she becomes an eligible student.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
See the list below of the disclosures that postsecondary institutions may make without
FERPA permits the disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from students’
education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain
conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school
officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas,
disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA
regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students
have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution
may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent
of the student –
- To other school officials, including teachers, within Kennesaw State University whom
the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes
contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced
institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1)
- (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
- To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where
the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s
enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney
General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities,
such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s
State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made,
subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of
Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance
with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may
make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as
their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement
or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student
has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid,
determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the
terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to:
(a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid
programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject
to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
- Information the school has designated as “directory information” under §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11))
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex
offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the
final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or
offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to
the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator
of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a
violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against
him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or
local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession
of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed
a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
FERPA Annual Notice Addendum
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand
the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information
(PII) contained in such records – including your Social Security Number, grades or
other private information - may be accessed without your consent. First the U.S.
Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or
state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow
access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated
by a Federal of State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education
program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in
the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as
well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second,
Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without
your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases
even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities
must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that
have authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control
over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems,
State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your
consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in
education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about
you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce
development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service
and migrant student records systems.
Kennesaw State University may disclose personally identifiable information from an
education record to appropriate parties, including parents of an eligible student,
in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect
the health or safety of the student or other individuals.
In the case of an emergency, direct all student information requests to Public Safety:
What to do if a Student Data (FERPA) Violation Occurs
The KSU Data Security Policy
defines the usage and security requirements of confidential and sensitive data at
Kennesaw State University. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance for appropriate
usage and security of confidential and sensitive information at KSU and is essential
for compliance with federal, state, and University System of Georgia (USG) regulations.
This policy sets forth KSU’s standards in regard to handling confidential and sensitive
Violations of this policy are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Email all notifications of student data breaches to the University Registrar, email@example.com.
The Georgia Open Records Act requires that public records be open and available for
inspection by a requesting party within a reasonable amount of time after the receipt
of the request, unless the records are those exempted by law from disclosure (e.g.,
student educational records). Any Open Records requests must be forwarded immediately
upon receipt to the KSU Office of Legal Affairsfor initial response on behalf of the University.