If as part of your job responsibilities at Villanova you have the ability to access records that directly relate to an individual student, you should be familiar with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, or “FERPA”, also known as the Buckley Amendment. This Federal law protects the privacy of Villanova University students’ education records.
Under FERPA, education records are those records that are directly related to a student and maintained by the University or by a party acting for the University. Education records may appear in a variety of forms, including paper and electronic formats. The general rule to know is that absent an exception, information in an education record is private and cannot be released to anyone without the student’s prior written consent. The FERPA regulations do contain a number of very specific exceptions that permit Villanova to disclose student education records without the student’s prior written consent, many of which are described in Villanova's Disclosure of Student Records policy.
FERPA also provides rights to our students to request access to their own education records and request an amendment of their education records.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act – FERPA Basics Education Module I and Case Studies. This program is offered by the Offices of the Vice President and General Counsel and University Compliance and provides you with the framework for understanding FERPA rights and obligations. It includes case studies with examples of the application of FERPA in the academic and administrative work environments.
Department of Education - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA Regulations, 34 CFR Part 99
FERPA General Guidance for Students
See Recent Guidance on:
FERPA & COVID-19 FAQs
FERPA and Virtual Learning
The Disclosure of Student Records policy implements Villanova University’s FERPA obligations and is required reading to better understand FERPA. The policy informs the reader of:
1) The categories of information Villanova deems to be directory information; as such, this information may be disclosed without the student’s prior written consent except that you need to make sure that the student has not “opted out” (in which case such information cannot be released);
2) What is deemed to be personally identifiable information (PII) and, therefore, confidential. PII means that the information may include the name of the student; the address of the student; a personal identifier such as social security number; or a list of personal characteristics or other information that would make the student’s identity easily traceable;
3) In what circumstances FERPA permits the disclosure of education records, or PII contained in the education records, without the prior written consent of the student; and
4) A description of the students’ rights under FERPA and the process to exercise these rights which include the right to request access to review and inspect their education records, and seek amendment if they believe their education record is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of their privacy rights.
Upon review of the policy, if there are any questions or requests for more in-depth training regarding FERPA, please contact one of the Offices listed below. They are available to assist you with your questions and training needs:
Office of the Vice President and General Counsel (Contact: Mark Hewlett, Assistant General Counsel, email@example.com)
University Compliance Office (Contact: Leyda Benitez, University Compliance Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Questions may also be submitted anonymously or confidentially through the ethics and compliance hotline, EthicsPoint, available 24/7 at:
- villanova.ethicspoint.com or
- toll free-number 1-866-236-1443.