Access to Student Records - FERPA

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

What is FERPA?

The Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (commonly known as the Buckley Amendment) is a federal law, which provides that colleges and universities will maintain the confidentiality of student education records. The law grants specific rights to the adult student. These rights include:

  • The right to see the information the Institute is keeping on the student.
  • The right to seek amendment to the records and in some cases add a statement to the record.
  • The right to consent to disclosure of his/her records.

Basically it states that student's educational records are considered confidential and may not be released without consent of the student. Some information is considered public (called "directory information") and may be released without the student's written permission. Also, certain personnel within the institution may be given permission to see the records for legitimate educational purposes. Certain information may be released to persons with an emergency or in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.

What is considered directory information?

In compliance with FERPA, the following statement reflects Pratt Institute's policy.

The following directory information may be released by telephone: student's dates of attendance; date of graduation; major field of study and degree earned. Other kinds of directory information, such as a student's address, email address, telephone listing, awards received, and the most recent previous education agency or previous institution attended, will be released or verified only in response to a written/online request. Pratt Institute reserves the right to refuse the above information if the reason for the request is not considered to be a sufficient need to know.

Student's personally identifiable information: parents name, grades, courses, GPA, social security number, birth date, and other personal information will not be released without the student's written consent.

However, the Act states that each student has the right to inform Pratt Institute if any or all of the information is not to be released. Pratt Institute will honor the student's request to restrict the release of "directory information" as stated previously. Pratt Institute students may withhold disclosure of either or both categories of information. A student must notify the Registrar's Office in writing before the end of the drop/add period of the semester. The Student may obtain a form requesting non-disclosure from the Registrar's Office. No information will be released without the written consent of the student. Status of disclosure at the last enrollment period is binding until such time that the Institute is notified in writing by the student to permit release of "directory information."

Access to Student Records

The confidentiality, privacy, and accuracy of a student's record is maintained to the maximum extent possible. Student records are utilized and released only for the legitimate purposes and pursuits of students, faculty, staff, and the larger community. Any person who wishes to view a student's record or a portion thereof must request permission in writing which notes the date, the name of the user, and the student concerned, reason for access, and materials duplicated, if any.

Student Access

A student may examine all elements of his or her record, subject only to proper identification and reasonable allowances for time, place, and supervision. The student may challenge the accuracy of any entry. Upon submission of valid evidence of error, the Registrar will correct the inaccuracy and notify appropriate offices of the correction.

Parental Access

At the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent rights to inspect a student's education record. The right to inspect is limited solely to the student. Records may be released to parents only under the following circumstances:
a. Through the written consent of the student.
b. In compliance with a subpoena.
c. If a health or safety emergency involves their son or daughter.
d. If a student under age 21 has violated any law or policy concerning the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.

An institution is not required to disclose information from a student's education record to the parents of a dependent student.

Faculty and Staff Access

Student records are only available to Pratt Institute faculty and staff for legitimate educational and administrative purposes. To view a student's record, faculty and staff members must request permission in writing in the Office of the Registrar. Academic Advisors routinely receive a variety of data on students to assist them in advising (degree audit).

Community Access

Properly identified officials from federal, state, or local government agencies are supplied the following information upon request.
a. Verification of date of birth.
b. Major and class level.
c. Degree(s) earned and graduation date(s) and honors received.
d. Verification of permanent and local addresses and telephone numbers.
e. Verification of signature.
f. Name and address of parent or guardian.

Telephone Access

The Office of the Registrar releases the following information in response to telephone inquiries:
a. Program and class level.
b. Date of enrollment.
c. Degree(s) earned and graduation date(s).
d. Verification of other directory information.
e. Emergency Requests


Pratt Institute obliges all emergency requests for the address and telephone number for a student or a student's parents or guardian. Persons requesting such information are required to identify themselves to the Office of the Registrar.

In cases of medical emergency, the college reserves the right to notify family members, as appropriate and as determined by the particular circumstances.