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Confidentiality and Privacy (FERPA)

On this page:
Students’ Rights—FERPA
Directory Information
Authorized Disclosure Without Consent
Health and Safety Exemption Requirement
Requesting Privacy
Permission to Release Non-Directory Information
Disclosure Recordkeeping Requirements
Reporting a Concern

Students’ Rights—FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days from the day the university receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, the official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the university to amend a record should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested, the university will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The university can disclose education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the university. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using university employees or officials (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.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-8520.

Directory Information

The information listed below is considered directory information:

  • your name
  • your date of birth
  • your local address
  • your e-mail address
  • your local telephone number
  • your major field of study
  • the dates you attended Boise State
  • your student classification (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate)
  • your enrollment status (e.g., full-time or part-time)
  • the type of degree you’ve earned from Boise State and the date on which it was awarded
  • the dean’s list and other honors released to the newspapers

According to Policy 2250, Boise State University reserves the right to withhold information when, in its judgment, the interests and welfare of the individual, university, or both are not served by the release of information.  In other words, while we have the option to release directory information (except where students have requested privacy), we reserve the right to not release.

Authorized Disclosure Without Consent

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expanded 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.

Health and Safety Exemption Requirement

Boise State University adheres to all requirements pertaining to the protection of personally identifiable information and other protected information in a student’s education record. However, pursuant to 34 CFR 99.36, the university is permitted to disclose, without student consent, information in a student’s education record including but not limited to personally identifiable, non-directory information in connection with a health or safety emergency.

The situation must present imminent danger to a student or other or member of the university community in order to qualify for this exemption. The VP for Student Affairs or other authorized university personnel must approve such an exemption request.

Requesting Privacy

If you wish to limit access to this information, go to myBoiseState Help and click on the Update FERPA Restrictions link for instructions.

Permission to Release Non-Directory Information

In discharging their official duties, Boise State employees may read, review, photocopy, and distribute to appropriate persons within the university any information contained in your student record. However, before distributing confidential information outside the university—even to members of your family—Boise State faculty and staff must first secure your written permission to do so.

You must complete a Release of Information form to allow individuals other than yourself to access your educational or financial records.

Disclosure Recordkeeping Requirements

Each office of the university that maintains educational records must maintain, within each student’s file, for as long as the file is maintained: (1) a record of all third parties who have requested or received personally identifiable information from a student’s educational record in accordance with FERPA requirements; and (2) the legitimate interest of the party in requesting or obtaining the information. If personally identifiable information from a student’s education record is disclosed pursuant to the health or safety exception, the record must indicate the articulable and significant threat to the health and safety of the student or other individuals that formed the basis for the disclosure and the parties to whom the information was disclosed.

If the third party recipient may disclose personally identifiable information to additional parties on behalf of Boise State, this information must also be included in the record, as well as the additional parties’ legitimate interest in requesting or obtaining the information.

When a qualifying disclosure of personally identifiable information is warranted, a Record of Disclosure of FERPA Information should be used to document the requirements listed above.

Reporting a Concern

If you have a concern about the application of FERPA in a personal interaction, classroom or office environment or university activity/event, you have the right to file a concern with the university.

If you need assistance to file a report, please contact:

FERPA Compliance Coordinator
Office of the Registrar
MS1365
Administration Building, Room 110
1910 University Drive
Boise, ID 83725
(208) 426-4249
regmail@boisestate.edu