FERPA for Faculty and Staff

When Can I Access or Disclose Student Records?

  • Disclosure of Directory Information.
  • Disclosure to a Mason School Official with a Legitimate Educational Interest. ​
  • Disclosure to officials of another school for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.
  • Disclosure is in connection with financial aid.
  • Disclosure is to an accrediting organization.
  • When complying with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena (escalate to University Counsel).

Who is a school official?

School Officials means any person or entity conducting institutional services or work on behalf of the University. School officials do not necessarily need to be paid employees of the University.

School officials may include (but are not limited to):

  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Contractors/Consultants
  • Volunteers
  • Board members
  • Trustees
  • Administrators
  • Academic partners
  • Student workers
  • Students functioning in an official University capacity

​What is a Legitimate Educational Interest?

Legitimate Educational Interest means the need of a school official to access a student’s educational records in the course of performing his or her duties for the University.

A legitimate educational interest exists if:

  • The information is necessary for that official to perform appropriate tasks specified in his or her position description or by a contract agreement;
  • The information is used within the context of official George Mason University business and not for purposes extraneous to the official’s areas of responsibility;
  • The information is relevant to the accomplishment of some tasks or to a determination about the student; and
  • The information is used consistently with the purposes for which the data is maintained.

The release of any non-directory information about a student to any person without a legitimate educational interest violates federal and state law, as well as University regulations.

What is Directory Information?

Directory Information at Mason consists of the following:

  • 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
  • Weight and Height of Athletes

Mason defines the following as Limited Directory Information:

  • *Student ID (G Number)
  • *Date of Birth

This information should only be used for verification purposes, such as to confirm a students identity over the phone, and in conjunction with a legitimate educational interest.

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