What is FERPA?

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (sometimes called the Buckley Amendment). Passed by Congress in 1974, the Act grants specific rights to the adult student:

  • the right to see the information that the institution is keeping on the student
  • the right to seek amendment to those records and in certain cases append a statement to the record
  • the right to consent to disclosure of his/her records
  • the right to limit disclosure of some “directory information”
  • the right to file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington.

What is an Educational Record?

“Educational Records” are defined as all records that contain information directly related to a student maintained by an educational agency or institution. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • All personal information about students
  • Enrollment records
  • Grades, Schedules, Class lists, or any lists of students
  • Advising records
  • Financial Aid reports
  • Computer printouts and hard-copy documents
  • Information displayed on a computer screen
  • Notes taken about a student, e.g. during an advisement session or office visit

Faculty and Staff Responsibilities

As a faculty or staff member and representative of the college, you have a responsibility to protect the privacy of all educational records in your possession or which you may have access to in the course of your employment. Student educational records are considered confidential and may not be released to a third party without the written consent of the student except to other school officials that have legitimate education interests in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibilities for Purchase College. This may include Deans, Directors, Chairs, or other staff that monitor academic progress and outreach to students.


  • Leave graded tests or papers in a place where students will retrieve them by sorting through the papers of other students
  • Discuss the progress of any student with anyone other than the students, including parents, without the consent of the student, except school officials as noted above
  • Disclose any information about students over the telephone or via email or fax to anyone other than college employees that are known to you. If you are not familiar with them, ask them to come see you.
  • Link the name of a student with that student’s college ID number in any public manner
  • Provide anyone with student schedules or assist anyone other than college employees in finding a student on campus

When in doubt, do not release any information before you contact the Office of the Registrar at 914-251-6361

Directory Information

Some information is considered public and is referred to as “Directory Information.” This information can usually be released without the student’s written permission. However, the student may choose to restrict access to their Directory Information as well, making even their Directory Information confidential.

Directory Information at Purchase College Includes:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Photographs
  • Matriculation status
  • Campus mailbox & campus phone
  • Home address, phone & email address
  • Dates of attendance and graduation
  • Major fields of study and degrees
  • Full-time or part-time status
  • Class level
  • Awards
  • Athletes’ height and weight, and participation in recognized college activities.

Students can choose not to have their directory information released by completing a “Suppression of Directory Information” form available at the Office of the Registrar.