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Are Your Grades Confidential

Created By : Jatin Gogia
Reviewed By : Phani Ponnapalli
Last Updated at : Mar 28,2023

Are Your Grades Confidential: Grades are not more than letters and they speak volumes. In fact, these are the highest level of grades that the US Government recognizes. Gone are the days when teachers used to mention all your grades in the School on the board outside. Students have all the right to privacy and this is why Grades are kept Confidential. 

In the case of publicly funded colleges, all student records are taken with utmost care. The important rule to protect privacy is known as FERPA. In this article, we will answer all that you need to know about FERPA, its requirements and grade confidentiality.

What is FERPA?

Family Education Privacy Act is an Amendment that protects the Privacy of Student Information. Student records are maintained under this law. Test Grades, GPA, and standard test scores come under this FERPA and are private information and can’t be revealed unless and until you give consent.

What Information can be Released?

Usually, Educators have access to two main types of information namely Directory Information and Personally Identifiable Information.

In general Directory Information isn’t protected under FERPA and includes details like Phone Number, Name, Address, Degree, Honors, Attendance, etc. This information is generally not considered private and is no harm to share it. 

On the other hand, Personally Identifiable Information is something that can be used to trace your identity. This information is kept confidential and is shared only if you provide your consent.

Do All Schools Need to Follow FERPA?

No, not all schools have to follow federal confidentiality laws when it comes to grades. FERPA applies to only private and public schools that receive federal funding of any kind. These schools have to abide by these laws when it comes to the maintenance of both computerized and Written Student Records.

Some schools follow different privacy laws and they need to keep the entire information confidential. However, in order to disclose any information you need to provide written consent. If you are concerned about your privacy you need to do some research on certain state laws. 

Can my Parents have the right to see my Grades?

In case you are minor, there is no need to give special consent to your Parents to see your Grades. They can see your Grades without any permission. However, if you are 18 or above you need to provide written consent before your parents request access. This is especially important if you want a strong sense of privacy.

Who can access my Grades?

Educators can never share their Grades with other students unless and until you provide permission. Only students, parents and educational professionals of schools can access the personal student records. In most of the cases, you need to provide them permission to access.

  • Teachers/instructors
  • Health staff/counselors
  • School attorneys
  • School administrators

What Rights Do I have under FERPA?

There are various reasons you might need student records. At times parents and teachers need them to see if all the information is up-to-date. Education Agency will send out information and instructions regarding the rights under the policy. This information contains stating detailed information on how to amend inaccurate records.

Exceptions to Student Record Privacy Laws

Schools have to release Student Information in certain cases and don’t need permission. When you are shifting from one university to another university college department needs to access the transcript. Some legal officials can even bypass FERPA. From time to time they can even perform audit on student performance and needs this information. Parents of students can access the student records only if you provide them the written consent. 

To know more about Privacy Rights under FERPA you can even visit the Department of Education’s Official Website.


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