Radford University FERPA Policy

RU Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy

Radford University student record policies and practices are in full compliance with the Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

The University will not release information about a student from records, except directory information, to people (including parents) other than a specified list of exceptions without obtaining the written consent of the student.

Upon request, the University will grant students who are or have been in attendance access to their educational records, except those excluded by law, and will provide an opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records.

Federal and state law does permit the University to release information it has identified as directory information with respect to each student unless the student informs the University that all designated directory information should not be released without the student’s prior consent. Forms to request a restricted release of directory information are available here and should be turned in to the Office of the Registrar.*

While the University understands that there are sometimes very legitimate reasons why a student may want to restrict their directory information, please note that placing a restriction on the release of a student’s directory information means that RU personnel can’t even acknowledge the existence of the student to a third party such as prospective employers, graduate or professional schools, or loan servicers. This may cause the student and their parents some inconveniences related to the verification of enrollment and/or graduation for insurance, student loan deferment, and employment purposes.

Radford University has identified the following as directory information.
• Student’s name, date-of-birth, local and home address, phone listing and e-mail addresses
• Whether a student is currently enrolled
• Major field of study
• Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
• Weight and height of members of athletic teams
• Dates of attendance
• Degrees and awards received

While FERPA stipulates that universities may disclose directory information to third parties without the student’s consent, they are not required to do so. It is Radford University's policy to refrain from disclosing student addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and dates-of-birth without the student’s consent; however, the University may use this information for verification purposes.  A student can, however, authorize the University to disclose their contact information (addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses) by completing and turning in a Contact Information Release Form to the Registrar’s Office.  The University does not disclose social security numbers, personal identification numbers, photographs, grades, grade point averages, or class schedules without the written consent of the student.

A full statement of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and information explaining how students may exercise the rights accorded them by this policy are posted here and are available from the Office of the Registrar.

*The restriction on the release of student information does not apply to university officials or to designated persons or agencies operating on behalf of the university. For example, faculty, advisors, and academic support staff, may access student information needed to perform their official responsibilities. Selected individuals or agencies operating for the university, such as the National Student Clearinghouse, may have access to academic records to verify enrollments and degrees.  The university may disclose records to state agencies for the purpose of program review and evaluation.

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 or 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 they 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.