The Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, prohibits the Office of the University Registrar from sharing information about students with other individuals unless the University has certified proof that the individual inquiring on your behalf is your legal guardian or that you are financially dependent upon that individual.
The Office of the University Registrar WILL NOT release academic information over the phone nor electronically; not even to parents/legal guardians whose dependents have signed the Waiver To Release Educational Records. We do not have a mechanism to verify one's identity over the phone nor electronically. As an authorized recipient of a student's academic information, you must be present in our office with a valid identification and have the appropriate forms signed to acquire grades or any other academic information for a student. The same rules also apply to any third party.
We recognize that this limitation may cause occasional inconvenience to a student, a student's family, and other interested parties, but we are bound by law to protect our students' rights to privacy.
Note: The Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education has jurisdiction over the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Students may choose to restrict further access to their records, such as "directory information". See the Notification of Rights Under FERPA document and the online printable Non-Disclosure of Directory Information form listed in the FERPA Resources section of this page.
What rights do students have under FERPA?
- The right to inspect and review their education records
- The right to request changes to their education records
- The right to provide written consent before Pitt discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Pitt to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
What are educational records?
Education records are records that are directly related to a student and that are maintained by the University or a party acting for or on behalf of the University. These records include but are not limited to grades, transcripts, class rosters, student course schedules, student financial information, and student discipline files. The information may be recorded in any way, including, but not limited to, print, computer media, videotape, audiotape, and e-mail.
What are some examples of when FERPA authorizes the disclosure of educational records without the Students written consent?
- To school officials with legitimate educational interests
- To officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll
- To process financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received
- To educational organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of Pitt to improve or evaluate instruction or educational programs
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency
If I am a parent of a college Student, do I have the right to see my child's education records, especially if I pay the bill?
The rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student, once the student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age. However, although the rights under FERPA have now transferred to the student, a school may disclose information from a student’s education records to the parents of the student, without the Student's consent, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes. Neither the age of the student nor the parent's status as a custodial parent is relevant. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then either parent may have access under this provision.
Policies and Procedures
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is reflected in the University policy and procedure below.