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What are education records?

An education record is any record, in any form or medium that is directly related to a student by way of personally identifiable information and is maintained by Ohio University or an agent acting on behalf of Ohio University.

Some types of information are not considered education records and are not protected by FERPA (although the information may be protected by other state and/or federal laws). These types of information not protected by FERPA include:

  • Ohio University Police Department records,
  • Employment records, except for those whose employment at Ohio University is tied to their status as a student,
  • Notes made by and remaining in the sole possession of the maker,
  • Ohio University medical and psychological records used only in connection with the provision of treatment of the student,
  • Ohio University alumni records.
What is directory information?

FERPA requires institutions to define what it considers to be directory information and permits release of that information to third parties without consent from the student. Ohio University defines directory information as the following:

  • Name, addresses, telephone number, email address
  • Major academic program(s), dates of enrollment and current enrollment status, degrees and awards, standing and degree level, primary advisor, expected graduation date, current college and campus,
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports with weight and height of athletic team members,
  • Previous institution(s) attended, a.k.a. name(s), residency and admission status, record hold(s), and deceased status.

Note: Ohio University will never release to third parties the following information without the student's written consent: Social Security or student personal identification (PID) numbers, race, gender, grades, schedule, grade point average, citizenship, or religious preference.

Students who do not want their directory/public information released to third parties or students who do not want to be identified in Ohio University online search directories must update their privacy settings in MyOHIO Student Center.  In the Personal Information section select Privacy Settings in the drop-down box and then click the right arrows.  Please read the five statements and then click Edit FERPA/Directory Restrictions, click Restrict All Fields, and then click Save to elect confidentiality.  This restriction will remain in place until you remove it.

Note: Students should be aware that choosing confidentiality may result in undesirable repercussions such as denied enrollment and degree verification to persons, agencies, and institutions requesting this information for employment, insurance discounts, school transfer, or related purposes. Prior to graduation you must remove if the student wants to be listed in the graduation commencement program.

May parents access their son's/daughter's education records without written consent?

Students may give their parent(s) or guardian(s) permission to access their records or grades by providing a signed and dated request to the department at Ohio University that maintains that particular record.

A parent or guardian may request access to his/her student's records and grades without student consent if he or she claims the student as a dependent according to the IRS tax code. This requires submission of the Certificate of Dependency Form [PDF].

As a parent, how can I find out about my student's grades and/or academic probation status?

Information about grades and academic standing is given directly to students. Most parents find out this information by asking their students. Doing so fosters trust and a sense of mutual respect and responsibility.

As a parent, I had easy access to my child's school records before. Why don't I have the same access to records kept by Ohio University?

Under FERPA, once a student has turned 18 or is attending any post-secondary educational institution, the access rights that parents and legal guardians had in the elementary and secondary school setting change.

What if students violate Ohio University policy or other state/federal laws? Will the students' parent(s) be notified?

As permitted by FERPA, when students who are under the age of 21 are found responsible either for a Code B or a Code A alcohol or other drug offense of the Student Code of Conduct, the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility will routinely notify students' parents/guardians in writing. Written notification will detail the fact that the student has been found responsible for an alcohol or other drug offense and provide the specific disposition of the case. The notice will not include specfic details of the offenses(s) for which the student is found responsible, or the circumstances surrounding the offenses(s). Parents/guardians interested in specific information concerning the outcome of their student's judicial case are encouraged to contact the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility. Please visit for more details.