Student Records Privacy & Policy

Student Records Privacy & Policy

Notification of Rights under FERPA
Student Directory Information
Non-Disclosure of Student Directory Information
Student Social Security Numbers
Student Records Policy (pdf) 

Notification of Rights under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.

    Students should submit to the Office of the Registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identify the record(s) they wish 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, that 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 or misleading.

    Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of their 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 consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

    One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. School official; a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, student staff or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or entity with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, software vendor or service provider); a person serving on the University's Board of Trustees; or a student or volunteer community member serving on an official committee (such as a scholarship, disciplinary or grievance committee) or assisting another school official in performing his or her duties.

    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.

    Upon request, the University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
     
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning the alleged failures by Portland State 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 Ave SW
    Washington, DC 20202-4605
     
  5. FERPA authorizes the University to make public disclosure, upon request, of Student Directory Information. Student Directory Information at Portland State is defined below. Students who request non-disclosure of Student Directory Information prevent the University from releasing any information about the student to anyone other than officials at school(s) in which the student intends to enroll. Such non-disclosure means the University will not release to outside parties (included prospective employers) such information as fact of attendance, degrees or honors earned.

Student Directory Information

The following information is defined as directory information at Portland State and may be disclosed upon request.

  • Student's current first, middle, last and preferred first name
  • Current @pdx.edu email address
  • Dates and/or terms of attendance
  • Field of study (major, minor)
  • Degrees and awards received
  • Date(s) of degree(s)
  • Term of application for degree(s)
  • Number of credits earned, including class standing (freshmen, sophomore, etc.)
  • Fact of enrollment, including enrollment status (full-time, half-time, etc.)
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Status as a graduate assistant, including work assignment and FTE
  • Dates of employment for student worker positions

Non-Disclosure of Student Directory Information

Students may request non-disclosure of Directory Information. Such a request will  prevent the University from releasing any information about the student to anyone other than officials at school(s) in which the student intends to enroll. Such non-disclosure means the University will not release to outside parties (included prospective employers) such information as fact of attendance, degrees or honors earned. This non-disclosure also prevents University employees from discussing any student-specific information with the student without verifying photo identification. This will prevent the discussion of any student record information over the phone with the student as we can not verify the identity of the caller. 

To make such a request, complete the Student Records Privacy Request form and return it to the Office of the Registrar. You will be asked to show photo ID along with submission of the form.

Student Social Security Numbers

Although SSNs are not used as primary student identifiers, the University collects and securely maintains SSNs for several important reasons. Students are asked to voluntarily provide their SSN to assist Portland State University (PSU) (and organizations providing contracted services or research for PSU) in managing student identity and records security among students with the same name; in administering financial aid benefits; in complying with federal tax reporting laws; in satisfying our reporting requirements to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) and to state and federal agencies; in conducting ongoing institutional research, program assessment and instructional improvement; in collecting of student debts; and in comparing student educational experiences with subsequent workforce experiences.

SSN Disclosure and Consent Statement

SSNs will only be released to non-University persons or entities in very limited circumstances and only when the University is required to disclose the SSN under federal or state law or has contracted with an entity to perform institutional functions and/or research.  Such outside entities might include collection agents, software vendors, the state Employment Department, the National Student Clearinghouse (for federal financial aid enrollment verification), and federal or state agencies such as the HECC or the U.S. Department of Education, and/or persons or entities conducting studies/research on behalf of PSU.

For purposes of conducting studies/research or providing contracted services, PSU will disclose the SSN only in a manner that does not permit personal identification of a student by individuals other than representatives of PSU (or the organization conducting the study or providing the contracted service for PSU) and only if the information is destroyed when no longer needed for the purposes for which the study was conducted or for the purposes of contractual service provision.

By providing their SSN, students are consenting to the uses identified above. This notice and request to gather the SSN is made pursuant to ORS 352.002, ORS 352.087, and ORS 352.146. Provision of the student’s SSN and consent to its use for admission and/or research purposes is not required. The University must maintain a record of the SSN for those students who have been or are being awarded financial aid, for students who are seeking loan deferrals, and for federal tax reporting compliance. However, a student may revoke consent for the use of their SSN for research purposes at any time by completing the SSN Opt-Out from Research web form.