FERPA at Mason

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

When a student turns 18, or attends a postsecondary institution, FERPA rights belong to the student, not the parent. This means all students at Mason control access to all of their educational records and must give consent before that information is disclosed to any third party, including parents. 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. At Mason, Directory Information includes:

Directory Information includes:

  • Student Name
  • 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

Limited Directory Information:

This information should only be used for verification purposes (i.e. confirming identity over the phone)

  • Student ID (G Number)
  • Date of Birth

Note: Mason does not disclose non-directory information unless the student has signed a consent form or the disclosure meets a qualified exception under FERPA.

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



All parties performing institutional services for Mason must attend FERPA Training. This includes, but is not limited to, all faculty and staff, student workers, contractors, consultants, and volunteers.

It is important that everyone doing work on behalf of Mason understands what FERPA is and follows all policies and guidelines set forth by FERPA, Virginia, and George Mason University. Instructions for signing up for a training session are below:

  • Go to Mason Workshops
  • Login using your Mason NetID and your Patriot Password
  • In the upper left-hand of the screen, click on “Events”
  • In keyword type in “FERPA 101” and click “Search”
  • Click on “FERPA 101”
  • Click on the blue Date you want to attend
  • Click on the “Register” button
  • Confirm your information and click the “Register” button