FERPA & Privacy

george_washingtonThe Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects student information.

The law also gives individual students certain rights:

  • the right to inspect and review education records,
  • the right to seek the amendment of education records,
  • the right to consent to the disclosure of education records,
  • the right to obtain a copy of the school’s FERPA policy,
  • the right to file a complaint with the FERPA office in Washington, D.C.

Student Directory Information

While most information about a student is considered private and no one other than school officials (faculty and staff) with a legitimate educational interest may have access to it without the written consent of the student, certain categories of information designated as “directory information” may be disclosed by Washington University without obtaining the prior consent of the student.

Through WebSTAC, WUSTL students have control over the release of directory information.

Included in the directory information designation are:

  • full name,
  • home and local addresses and telephone numbers,
  • email address,
  • photographic, video or electronic image (picture),
  • academic division and major field of study,
  • dates of attendance,
  • previous schools attended,
  • graduation dates and degrees received at Washington University,
  • class (affiliated degree year),
  • academic awards,
  • participation in intercollegiate activities, and
  • height and weight (NCAA Division III athletes only).

View the full text of the FERPA policy at Washington University.


Privacy Information for Parents

As provided by federal law in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the university may choose to release information about a student’s academic performance to a parent if the student is claimed as a legal dependent on that parent’s most recent federal income tax return. The university, however, is not required to do so and prefers that students take the initiative to disclose and discuss academic goals and progress with their parents.