Student Privacy

What Is Student Privacy?

The Buckley Amendment is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of student education records. Students have the following rights:

  • The right to inspect and review their educational records.

  • The right to seek the amendment of their educational records.

  • The right to consent to the disclosure of their educational records.

  • The right to obtain a copy of their school’s student records policy.


Who Is a Student?
A student is any individual who is or has been in attendance at an educational institution or agency and for whom the agency or institution maintains educational records.


What Is an Educational Record?
An educational record is defined as any information or data that is directly related to a student and is maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. Educational records include any information or data recorded in any medium, including but not limited to handwriting, print, tapes, film, email, microfilm and microfiche. Examples of educational records include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Academic evaluations, including student examination papers, transcripts, test scores and other academic records

  • General counseling and advising records

  • Disciplinary records

  • Financial aid records, including student loan collection records

  • Admissions information for students who are accepted and enrolled

  • Biographical information (date and place of birth, gender, nationality, race and ethnicity and identification photographs)

  • Course work including papers and exams, class schedules, as well as written, email or recorded communications that are part of the academic process

Education records do not include:

  • Records relating to medical interns and residents

  • Sole possession records, i.e., records/notes in sole possession of the maker, used only as a personal memory aid and not revealed or accessible to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record (this might include notes an instructor makes while providing career/professional guidance to a student)

  • Medical treatment records that include, but are not limited to, records maintained by physicians, psychiatrists and psychologists

  • Employment records when employment is not contingent on being a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual's employment

  • Records created and maintained by a law enforcement unit used only for only that purpose, are revealed only to law enforcement agencies of the same jurisdiction, and the enforcement unit does not have access to education records

  • Post-attendance records, i.e., information about a person that was obtained when the person was no longer a student (alumni records) and does not relate to the person as a student