Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Walla Walla University maintains compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (commonly referred to as FERPA or the "Buckley Amendment") as amended. FERPA is a federal law that gives certain rights to students and protects their privacy concerning their records maintained by Walla Walla University. 

FERPA for Students 

What are my FERPA rights?

As a student you have four primary rights under FERPA:

  1. The right to inspect your education records maintained by Walla Walla University.
  2. The right to request that Walla Walla University correct any information in your education records that you believe to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of your privacy rights.
  3. The right to exercise control over your education records either by release of your student information to parties outside of Walla Walla University or to withhold your information from all parties (with certain exceptions, as provided by law).
  4. The right to file a complaint with the FERPA compliance office at the U.S. Department of Education.

When do my FERPA rights begin?

FERPA rights begin when a student begins classes at Walla Walla University.

What are education records?

Education records are any records maintained by the University that are directly related to a student, with the following exceptions:

  1. Personal records kept by Walla Walla employees that are in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible by or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute.
  2. Employment records, unless those records are contingent on the fact that the employee is a student.
  3. Records maintained by campus security solely for law-enforcement purposes.
  4. Records maintained by counseling services or the health center. (Health records may be reviewed by a physician or another appropriate professional of the student's choosing.)
  5. Alumni Records.

Types, Locations, and Custodians of Education Records at WWU

Located at: Academic Records in the Canaday Technology Center.

Custodian: Registrar

Located at: Student Financial Services in the Canaday Technology Center.

Custodian: Director of Student Finance

Located at: Student Financial Services in the Canaday Technology Center.

Custodian: Director of Student Finance

Located at: Faculty office at each academic department or school, and Office of Academic Advisement in the Canaday Technology Center.

Custodian: Office of Academic Advisement

Located at: Disability Support Services in Village Hall.

Custodian: Coordinator of Disability Support Services

Located at: Associate Vice President for Academic Administration in the Administration Building.

Custodian: Associate Vice President for Academic Administration

Located at: The Student Life in the Kellogg Hall.

Custodian: Vice President for Student Life

What is directory information?

FERPA defines directory information as that information included in the education records of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. In accordance with FERPA, Walla Walla University designates the following student information as public or directory information. Such information may be disclosed by the institution at its discretion.

Directory information includes:

  • Student name
  • Current enrollment status
  • Telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Dates of attendance
  • Class standing
  • Previous educational institutions attended
  • Fields of study (major and minor)
  • Awards and honors
  • Degrees and/or certificates (including conferral dates)
  • Full-time or part-time status
  • E-mail addresses

Can a student restrict the release of directory information?

Students may withhold disclosure of directory information. To withhold disclosure, the student must provide written notification to the Office of the Registrar, Walla Walla University; 204 S College Ave; College Place, WA 99324. Directory information will then be withheld indefinitely until the registrar's office receives, in writing, a revocation of the request for non- disclosure. WWU will honor a request to withhold information, but the University cannot assume responsibility to contact the student for subsequent permission to release it. Regardless of the effects upon the requesting student, the institution assumes no liability as a consequence of honoring instructions that directory information be withheld. Walla Walla University assumes that failure on the part of any student to request specifically the withholding of categories of directory information indicates approval of that information for disclosure.

The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

FERPA permits disclosure without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support-staff position (including law-enforcement-unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted for a service or operations function (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. 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 responsibility.

The university may disclose personally identifiable information from a student's education record to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

Furthermore, the university is required by law (the Solomon Amendment) to provide the name and address of all students to any legitimate military recruiter who makes such a request in writing to the registrar's office. This applies even if a student has submitted a request to withhold directory information.

FERPA regulations detail other exceptions that allow disclosure without a student's consent.

Can parents access their students' education records?

Parents have no inherent right to inspect their students' education records at Walla Walla University. For a parent to have access to his or her student’s non-directory information, s/he must have a signed waiver from the student, or the student must have completed a Permission to Release Educational Records form signifying the parent as someone who has been given permission to access non-directory information.

The university may disclose personally identifiable information from a student's education record without the student's consent if the disclosure is to parents of "dependent" children as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, Section 152, and Walla Walla University has a copy of the parental tax return on file in the financial aid office.

What is FERPA procedure in health or safety emergencies?

If non-directory information is required during an emergency, Walla Walla University may release that information if it deems that the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

Whom should I contact for more information?

Please direct any questions not answered here, to the Academic Records Office located in Canaday Technology Center.