FAQ Details

How does FERPA apply to letters of reference for students?

If you are writing a letter which includes statements about the student GPA, specific grades and progress the data is protected under the FERPA legislation. Grading information is protected information and cannot be considered directory information. Faculty members completing reference letters are advised to obtain a release from the student to remain compliant.

When receiving a request from a student, it should be in writing and contain (1) the student's signature and the date of the request (2) the information the student is authorizing you to release (3) the purpose of the release and (4) the person/business/party that is authorized to receive the information.

Many admissions applications, employers and agency requests include a prepared form which provides the above information and authorizes the release of non-directory information. The use of these forms is generally acceptable provided the student completes the information and provides a dated signature when delivering it to you. When a form or letter is not provided by the student, we suggest you utilize the FERPA Release available on the Student Records and Registration website.

Do not hesitate to contact the Student Records and Registration Office for assistance.

Last updated: 10/3/2019