The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Brown University complies with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which was enacted to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. The policies and procedures established by the University in accordance with the provisions of the Act may be obtained upon request from the Office of the Dean of the College or can be found in the FERPA Policy Notice.

Granting Access to Your Academic Records

The University acknowledges that there are times in which a student may wish to grant access to certain aspects of their records to others, particularly in the case of a parent/guardian relationship.  In addition to granting third parties prior written consent to obtain their records (see the FERPA Policy Notice), students can establish the following methods of directly sharing their educational records through the Banner Self Service web portal.

Proxy Access:

Students have the ability to establish third parties as a 'Proxy' in Banner Self Service (under Proxy Management) to share their Internal Academic Record (IAR). The IAR is essentially the unofficial transcript and lists all registrations, drops, and grades (including NCs), as well as academic standing notations. 

Additional Access for Students in The College

Parental/Guardian notification of Committee on Academic Standing (CAS) actions:

If an actively enrolled degree seeking student in the College wishes to have their parent/guardian receive notifications about academic standing actions, they can set an indicator on the parent/guardian email in the "My Family" tab (under Personal Information) in Banner Self Service. Once set, if the student is placed on Academic Warning, Serious Warning, or Suspension, a copy of their CAS letter will go out to the email address that has been flagged.  

Establishing a Passphrase: 

In addition to the Proxy function and the CAS email notification, actively enrolled degree seeking undergraduate students can also establish a 'Passphrase' under the Confidentiality tab in Banner Self Service. When activating the passphrase option in the Banner Self Service portal, the student completes a prior written consent and creates a unique passphrase to act as a shortcut method that the deans in the College may use to discuss the student’s record with an authorized individual who knows that passphrase.  Students must be very careful to protect the passphrase they create and have the ability to change it or delete it in Banner Self Service.

Prior Written Consent

Prior written consent is required for the University to disclose information from a student’s education record to third parties (outside of the allowable methods under FERPA). For convenience, a copy of an Authorization for Release of Educational Records can be found here.

FERPA for Faculty and Staff handling student records/information

The FERPA Policy  provides information relating to the rights of students under FERPA and the University’s policies and procedures when complying with FERPA.  The Policy applies to anyone who maintains, accesses, or otherwise uses education records on behalf of the University, which includes faculty, staff, and other Brown University representatives with access to student education records as well as all students. 

The following information is reflective of the language in the FERPA Policy, but is in no way an exhaustive or complete list of your obligations under the Policy.   As an employee of Brown University you are required to read, understand, and comply with the FERPA Policy. 

  • Third party requests for student information should always be directed to the Office of the Registrar.  
  • If a student has blocked the release of their personal information (i.e. a Confidentiality flag), you may not release any information about that student. We recommend you say, "I have no information about that individual" or refer to the Office of the Registrar. 
  • Never release the following without the student's written consent:
    • Personally Identifiable Information (PII) - This includes student IDs (SSN, TIN, etc.); Race/Ethnicity; Photo; etc.
    • Registration information
    • The public posting of grades either by the student's name, student number, or any other PII without the student's written permission is a violation of FERPA. This includes the posting of grades to a class/institutional website and applies to any public posting of grades in hallways and in departmental offices for all students. Fellow students should NOT have access to their peer's grades.
    • Internal Academic Records are used for advising purposes only and should not be shared with any third parties. Any paper copies of IARs should be secured/shredded after use.

Revised August 28, 2018