Only school officials whom the university has determined to have a legitimate educational interest can access personally identifiable information without a student's written authorization. Under certain circumstances, directory information may be released to third-parties.
Obligation to Release Record Information
An institution is not obligated to release public directory information to anyone. FERPA only says that an institution MAY release such information, but there is no obligation to do so. When in doubt, do not release information.
Private, Non-directory Information
Under no circumstances can you release, to parents or to any third party, private, non-directory information from a student's records. The only exception is if the student has provided prior written authorization. FERPA protected information includes:
Social Security Number, billing address, parent names and/or address, GPA or grades, current term credits or class schedule (CRNs, meeting times, locations), information on academic standing (probation, disqualification, etc.) or whether a student is eligible to return to school, petitions to ARC, whether a student has applied for graduation, un-met degree requirements, accounts receivable balance, financial records of parents, student employment records, and copies of transcripts from another school or colleges.
When a student becomes an eligible student, the rights of parents transfer to the student. An eligible student is defined as a student who has reached 18 years of age OR is attending an institution of postsecondary education. Pacific is a postsecondary institution, therefore, all of our students—regardless of age—are eligible students covered by FERPA.
The privacy rights of an individual expires with that individual's death. Records held by an institution for a deceased person are not a FERPA issue but a matter of institutional policy. Pacific will exercise its own discretion in deciding whether, and under what conditions, information should be disclosed to survivors or third parties. Deceased student concerns must be referred to the Office of the Registrar.
FERPA does not preclude an institution from identifying students as school officials with a "legitimate educational interest" for specific purposes. The same requirements and responsibilities for a full time school official exist for student workers. The student workers must be trained on FERPA just as if they were faculty or staff.
Fraternities and Sororities
Many fraternities and sororities maintain scholarship committees, academic excellence awards and related types of activities that are based upon personally identifiable information. However, fraternity and sorority members in charge of these activities are not "university officials" and may not have access to student record information, unless the student has provided written authorization.
Students have the right to inspect the contents of their student folder, regardless of their financial status with the institution. However, an institution is NOT REQUIRED to release an official transcript if the student has a past due account.
At Pacific, all subpoenas are first reviewed by the Office of the Registrar to determine the appropriate course of action.