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Privacy Guidelines

Before Discussing A Student’s Record…

Before discussing details of a student’s records, Boise State staff must take care to either:

  • Verify that they are talking directly to the student
  • Share information with others only as it is permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

What Is FERPA?

The Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (also known as the Buckley Amendment) is a federal law that limits the amount of information that can be released about students to people outside the University without students’ specific written permission. To comply with FERPA, follow the guidelines that are practiced at Boise State University. See http://registrar.boisestate.edu/forms/students.shtml for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Confidentiality Statement.

When Communicating with Students About their Records

When talking to students about their records, Boise State staff must make a reasonable attempt to verify that students are who they claim to be. This applies to in-person, phone and e-mail exchanges. An exception exists for inquiries received from a BSU e-mail account.

  • In-person: Before divulging information about a student’s record, staff should ask for photo ID from that student. If the student does not have photo ID, staff should ask the student for at least one of the following: Student ID, SSN, birth date, phone number, or address. Staff who remain unsure about a student’s identify should ask for answers to a combination of the above.
  • BSU E-mail: Since students must use their usernames and passwords to access their BSU student e-mail accounts, BSU student e-mail is considered “secure” by the University. Staff can assume that inquiries received from a student’s BSU e-mail account are from the student. No further verification is needed.
  • Other E-mail or Phone: Before divulging information about a student’s record, staff should ask the student for one of the following: Student ID, SSN, birth date, phone number, or address. Staff who remain unsure about a student’s identify should ask for answers to a combination of the above.

When Communicating to Boise State Staff about Student Records

Boise State staff can share information with another university employee on a “need-to-know” basis. Staff should verify that the person is indeed a Boise State employee and provide the requested information once an appropriate need for the information has been given.

When Communicating to People Outside the University About Student Records

When talking to people outside the University about a Boise State student’s record, the maximum information that can be released is:

  • Dates of attendance
  • Full-time/Part-time status (based on 12 credit hours)
  • Mailing address and telephone number
  • E-mail address
  • Class standing (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
  • Major and minor plans
  • Degree(s) earned and date degree was earned

However, if a student has requested PRIVACY (as indicated by the FERPA blind appearing on the PeopleSoft® Bio-demo panel), staff may release nothing about this student without their specific written permission or subpoena. To request privacy, students need to complete the Privacy Request form located at: http://registrar.boisestate.edu/forms/students.shtml.

Regardless of whether a student indicates Privacy, staff may not release the following information to anyone outside the University without the student’s specific written permission or a subpoena (this includes parents, spouses, the police, even Campus police, the Armed Services, etc.)

  • Courses students have taken
  • Location of courses they are currently enrolled in
  • Grades and GPA’s
  • Parent’s name and address
  • Student number or social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Credit hours earned
  • Probation/Dismissal status
  • Previous institutions attended
  • Financial aid or veteran’s status
  • ACT or SAT test results
  • Etc.

Students who want to request in writing that parents, spouses or others have access to their record should complete the Release of Information form located at: http://registrar.boisestate.edu/forms/students.shtml.