The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that governs the education records of eligible students. It grants students continuous access to their education records upon request, allows students to amend their records if they feel they’re inaccurate, and restricts how and when their education records can be disclosed.

When a student turns 18, or attends a postsecondary institution, FERPA rights belong to the student, not the parent. In general, Mason does not disclose non-directory information to third parties unless the student has provided consent, the release is to the parent of a dependent student, as required by § 23.1-1303.B.5 of the Code of Virginia, or the disclosure meets a qualified exception under FERPA.

The best way for families to stay involved and informed about their student’s progress is to communicate directly with the student.

FERPA authorizes the release of Directory Information in accordance with what is allowable under law. University Policy 1122:  FERPA Compliance defines directory information at Mason.

Directory Information includes:

  • Student Name
  • Email**
  • Address**
  • Phone Number**
  • *Student ID (G Number)
  • *Date of Birth
  • Major Field of Study
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Enrollment Status
  • Previous Institutions
  • Class Level
  • Degrees and Awards Received
  • Photographs
  • Participation in Officially Recognized Sports and Activities
  • Weight and Height of Athletes

*Denotes Limited Directory Information. This information will only be used for verification purposes and to school officials who have access, consistent with FERPA, to such information and only in conjunction with a legitimate educational interest.

**Denotes Directory Information that may be released pursuant to Virginia Code § 23.1-405(C).

Use the navigation menu on the left to find out more information about FERPA, including the Annual Notification of Rights.