III. Definitions

  1. Directory Information: Directory information is specific information kept about the student that is considered public, which may be released without the student’s written permission. Directory information does not include unique personal identifier information such as a student’s social security number, student identification (ID) number, biometric record, or other unique personal identifier used by a student.
  2. Education Records: Education records are directly related to a student and maintained by an educational agency or institution or party acting on behalf of the agency or institution. Education records include but are not limited to personal identifiers (SSN, date of birth, ethnicity, gender), academic records (grades, transcripts, GPA, course schedules), financial aid information, and discipline files.
  3. Eligible Student: Under FERPA, an “eligible student” is a student who is 18 years of age or a student who is attending or has attended a postsecondary institution at any age.
  4. Parent: A parent of a student includes a natural parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or guardian. FERPA does provide rights to the parents of postsecondary students who are dependents for tax purposes under IRS rules.
  5. Personally Identifiable Information (PII): Information that would reveal the identity of a student or make the student’s identity easily traceable.
  6. Student: Any individual who is or has been in attendance at an educational agency or institution and regarding whom the agency or institution maintains education records. This includes students enrolled in credit and noncredit courses.