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: student name, address, date and place of birth, telephone number(s), email address, major and field of study, class, enrollment status, dates of attendance, degrees conferred, awards and honors, previous institutions, photographs, participation in officially recognizes sports and activities and physical characteristics of athletes.

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


Any person who perform an institutional service for Mason should attend FERPA training. This includes all faculty and staff, student workers, consultants, contractors, volunteers, etc. It is important that everyone doing work for Mason understand what FERPA is and follows the policies and guidelines to ensure the University stays in compliance and does not violate a student’s rights. 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