Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law regarding the privacy of student records and the obligations of the institution. It primarily focuses on the release of the records and the access to these records. Any educational institution that receives funds under any program administered by the U.S. Secretary of Education is bound by FERPA requirements. Institutions that fail to comply with FERPA may have funds administered by the Secretary of Education withheld.

Education Records

Education records are directly related to a student and maintained by an institution or its agents for all enrolled students, including those in high school. Education records can exist in any medium, including typed documents, computer-generated files, videotape, audiotape, film, microfilm, microfiche, and email, among others. 

Education records include, but are not limited to, such things as graded papers, exams, transcripts, notes from a conversation with or about a student that are placed in a student's file for others in the department to reference, emails or other correspondence that contain identifying information about a student, and student disciplinary records. 

Education records do not include such things as:

  • Sole possession records, i.e., records/notes kept in the sole possession of the maker, used only as personal memory aid and not revealed or accessible to any other person
  • Peer-graded papers before the instructor has collected them
  • Medical treatment records that include-but are not limited to-records maintained by physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists employed by the university and used for treatment purposes
  • Employment records unless employment is based on student status
  • Law enforcement unit records
  • Alumni records

Granting Access to my Student Education Records

Texas State students can grant access to their student education records through the Bobcat Family Portal. The Bobcat Family Portal provides an electronic FERPA authorization to simplify the process of requesting access to a student's education records including academic and financial information. Parents and Family members simply submit a request and the student will decide which records to share. The Bobcat Family Portal also provides a valuable connection to important Texas State news and events for Parents and Family members. 

FERPA Annual Notification to Students

exterior campus picture

Per UPPS No. 01.04.31, the Office of the University Registrar provides the Annual Notification of Student Rights under FERPA to students to inform them of their right to:

  • Inspect and review their own education records (with certain limited exceptions) within 45 days of the day Texas State receives the student's request for access
  • Request an amendment to their education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading
  • Request a hearing if the response to the request for an amendment is unsatisfactory to the student
  • Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records
  • Request that the institution not disclose their directory information; and
  • File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education

Privacy Holds

Instructions to place or remove privacy holds

If and when a student requests for our office to place a Privacy Hold on their record, our staff is not allowed to release any information without a written consent.  If and when a student decides to remove a privacy hold, they must submit a request in writing. A completed, physically signed form can be returned to the TXST One Stop either in person, or mailed in along with a legible copy of the student’s driver’s license or state ID (required to verify signature).


Directory Information

Directory information is a student’s information that may be released without the consent of the student. Directory information includes the following:

  •     Name
  •     Fields of study, including major and minor
  •     Enrollment status (actual hours enrolled, undergraduate, graduate, etc.)
  •     Type of award received (academic, technical, continuing education, etc.)
  •     Dates of attendance
  •     Student classification
  •     Name of the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended
  •     Telephone number
  •     Active, local and permanent addresses
  •     Weight and height of athletes
  •     Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  •     Names of prospective graduates
  •     Names of parents
  •     Photographs of students, and
  •     Any other records that could be treated as directory information under FERPA