Student Records Privacy & Policy

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 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 Social Security Numbers (SSNs) are not used as primary student identifiers, the University collects this information for students. It is important for the University to record student SSNs in order to maintain record security among students of the same name, to provide financial aid benefits, for federal tax reporting purposes, and to assist the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission in its ongoing institutional research and assessments.

SSN Disclosure and Consent Statement

Students are requested to provide voluntarily their Social Security Number to assist the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (and organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of HECC) in developing, validating, or administering predictive tests and assessments; administering student aid programs; improving instruction; internal identification of students; collection of student debts; or comparing student educational experiences with subsequent workforce experiences. When conducting studies, HECC will disclose a student's Social Security Number only in a manner that does not permit personal identification of the student by individuals other than representatives of HECC (or the organization conducting the study for HECC) and only if the information is destroyed when no longer needed for the purposes for which the study was conducted. By providing their Social Security Number, students are consenting to the uses identified above. Provision of a student's Social Security Number and consent to its use are not required and, if the student chooses not to do so, they will not be denied any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law.