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Student FERPA FAQs

What are my rights under FERPA? Under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) eligible students have the right to inspect and review their education records; seek amendment of any records believed to be inaccurate; consent to disclosure of education records except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent; and to file a complaint with FPCO concerning potential violations.

When do FERPA rights begin? Your FERPA rights begin when you enroll regardless of age; that is, when you have registered, paid and classes have begun. Students under 18 are covered under FERPA.

Can my parents get information about me? Your parents, like all other third parties, may have access only to your directory information with your express, written permission. If you have restricted some or all of your directory information from access by the public, then those items of directory information are considered confidential, and cannot be released to your parents or other third parties.

Who can access my educational records? Your educational records are confidential and may be disclosed to appropriate University administrators, faculty members, or staff members at Grand Valley State University; contractors acting on behalf of the University who require such access in order to perform their legitimate educational and business duties when such records are needed in furtherance of the educational or business purposes of the student or University; or to those to whom you have given express, written permission by completing the FERPA Permission to Release Non-Public Information form.

I need to have a letter of recommendation written on my behalf by either a faculty member or administrator. Is there a form I can use to request this authorization?  Students can submit a FERPA Release for Reference Request form to be completed by the student requesting a letter of recommendation from a staff or faculty member.

How can I restrict access to public or directory information about me? If you are currently enrolled, you may request that directory information (i.e., the information that appears on PeopleFinder) be made confidential by completing the Directory Information Release/Withhold Form and returning it to the Registrar's Office. Any restriction will remain in effect until you revoke it. Only currently enrolled students may restrict their directory information, but students may revoke the restriction of their information at any time.

Whom should I contact with questions or concerns? Direct general questions to the Registrar's Office or University Counsel.