The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Brown University complies with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 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. Students also have the right to file complaints with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA) concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act. 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.

Directory Information

Brown University employs an electronic directory that can be accessed on the University's home page. Directory listings include each student's name, degree level, e-mail address, and campus postal box. All of these items are included in the University's definition of directory or public information. Students who wish to suppress their directory information from public view should set the 'Confidentiality' flag that is available in the secured 'Personal Information Update' section of Banner Self Service. Important Notice: When a student's directory information is set to to 'confidential' not only will the University NOT be able to confirm your enrollment to any third party, but your email address will not appear in the Gmail address book for brown.edu users (the brown.edu email address will still work, but users will not auto-find the email address as they type) so please consider this carefully before suppressing your information.

Granting Access to Your Academic Records

Proxy Access: Students own their academic record, but there are times in which they may wish to grant access to certain aspects of their records to others, particularly in the case of a parent/guardian. In such cases, students have the ability to establish third parties as a 'Proxy' in Banner Self Service (under Proxy Management) to share their Internal Academic Record. The IAR is essentially the unofficial transcript and lists all registrations, drops, 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 a 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, undergraduate students can also establish a 'Passphrase' under the Confidentiality tab in Banner Self Service. This passphrase is a unique phrase created by the student that the academic deans in The College may use to discuss their record with an authorized individual who knows that passphrase. The passphrase acts as consent by the student to discuss their academic situation, etc. with a third party who knows the unique passphrase when requested by a dean. Students must be very careful to protect this passhrase they create and have the ability to change it or delete it.

For more information as it relates to Student Rights and responsibilities please visit the Office of Student Life website.

FERPA for Faculty and Staff handling student records/information

Requests for student enrollment status/directory information should always be directed to the Office of the Registrar. 

If a student has blocked release (i.e. 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 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.