FERPA Help Releasing Student Information / Permission for Recommendations or Conversations

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA, Buckley Amendment) is designed to protect the confidentiality of student education records that educational institutions maintain and to give students access to their records to assure the accuracy of their contents.

FERPA policy

Washington and Lee's complete FERPA policy is outlined on the General Counsel's site at http://go.wlu.edu/OGC/FERPA.

Student Release through WebAdvisor

Students can give permission to have their records released to specific individuals and for whatever amount of time they wish. At the WebAdvisor "Student Information Release (FERPA)" link (see below), students may give consent for a faculty member to write a letter of recommendation, or allow an adviser or dean to talk with family members. This process does not provide for sending transcripts to family members or others. Students can request a printed transcript or an electronic transcript to be sent according to the policies and procedures at go.wlu.edu/transcripts.

Faculty Release through WebAdvisor

Faculty can view their permissions from the WebAdvisor "Student Information Release (FERPA)" link.

Parents and their Students' Education Rights

The transition from secondary school to higher education includes a change in protection of your son or daughter's records on the day they matriculate. The records are now the property of the student (no matter who pays for the education) and can only be released by W&L with a student's permission (including to parents). Students are encouraged to forward copies of their grade reports to family members each term or to print a copy of their WebAdvisor report of final grades. As an alternative, students may request that a transcript of final grades be sent home to their parents, but this must be requested each term.

Directory Information

Under FERPA rights, the University may release Directory Information about a student to the general public, including other students. This may be important for such things as verifying enrollment, sending information to family members, sending announcements of honors to hometown newspapers, and for faculty to facilitate communications among students in a course.

Information that W&L may disclose at its discretion includes the following: name, current enrollment, local address, permanent address, local telephone number, campus e-mail address, date and place of birth, dates of attendance, class standing (e.g., sophomore), schedule of classes, previous institution(s) attended, major field(s) of study, awards and honors, degree(s) conferred (including dates), full-time or part-time status, photographic or videotaped image, past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, including fraternities and sororities, and physical factors of athletes (e.g., height, weight).

W&L works hard to protect each students privacy and does not automatically release such information to all requestors. Examples of information which are NOT directory information and which are thus not releasable without advance student permission or applicable exception under the Act include: specific course grades, grade-point averages, race or ethnic group, religion, or parent names. Students should be aware that placing a block on their directory information may limit W&L's ability to communicate appropriately for you and with you.

If you wish to withhold release of Directory Information, complete the FERPA block form. Directory information will then be withheld until the student releases the hold on disclosure or until the last term of the student's enrollment, whichever comes first.