The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment, was passed by federal legislators to require educational institutions and agencies to conform to fair practices regarding the release of information about students.

This means students have the right to know that information is collected about them; to know what data are collected; to know the data will be used only for the purposes for which they are originally collected; to be able to correct, amend, or qualify those data; and to be assured the individuals responsible for the data will ensure appropriate use of the information.

Some pieces of information have been defined by the college as “directory information” and may be released without the written consent of the student unless the student has filed an annual request for privacy in the Office of the Registrar. This request must be filed by August 1.

Items defined by Ohio Wesleyan as directory information are name; addresses (including email); telephone numbers; date and place of birth; major or minor fields; academic advisor; participation in activities; classification such as first-year, sophomore, junior, or senior; degrees and awards received; most recent educational agency or institution attended; weight and height of athletes; and photographs.

Letters of academic ineligibility will be sent to the student and parent. Letters of academic probation will be sent to the student with a copy enclosed for the parent.

Certain other educational records may be released to parents only if the student requests in writing that the parent receives a copy of the student’s record or if the parent submits evidence that the student is declared as a dependent on the parent’s most recent Federal Income Tax Form. Students who want their parents to receive a copy of the student’s final grades must complete a release from the Office of the Registrar.

Certain individuals at the college are permitted to have access to all records on individual students without student permission. These individuals include members of the faculty and staff acting in the student’s educational interest and within the faculty member or staff’s need to know that information; clerks and secretaries responsible for the maintenance of the data; officials at other schools at which the student may enroll; and federal, accrediting, and research agencies, providing the materials are not identified by individual.

Other information and records are wholly exempted from access by students. Such information includes records in the sole possession (in other words, not a part of a general folder or collection) of a professor, physician, counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or administrative staff member; financial information about parents; and recommendations for which the student has waived access.



Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Guide for Faculty

The purpose of this document is to provide faculty with information on the nature of protected student information and under what circumstances, if any, that data can be shared with someone other than the student. To begin, here is a simple rule of thumb that should serve you well:

When in doubt, don’t give it out.

According to Ohio Wesleyan’s data classification guidelines, data is placed into one of three categories: public, limited access, and restricted.

Restricted Data requires the highest level of protection. The unauthorized release of this information is prohibited by federal and state laws. Restricted data may not be shared without permission from the individual. Examples of such data include:

    • Social Security numbers
    • Driver’s license number or state identification card number
    • Patient information or medical records
    • Credit card and bank account numbers


  • Educational records


  • Student grades that include personally identifiable information. (This includes assignment grades, midterms, and final grades.)
  • Other personal data that can be used to facilitate identity theft. Names, addresses, and phone numbers are not restricted by themselves. However, they do become restricted when stored in conjunction with items such as date of birth, mother’s maiden name, etc, or when they belong to someone who has invoked their FERPA rights. 

Some exceptions: Certain individuals are permitted access to restricted data without the individual’s permission. Faculty and staff have rights to this protected information because of their roles and have a responsibility to ensure proper handling of the data. Information can also be released without consent in the event of an emergency or when it is necessary to protect health and safety. Permission is not needed for access to restricted data by:

  • Members of the faculty and administration acting in a student’s educational interest and within the limits of their need to know;
  • Clerks and secretaries responsible for maintaining the files;
  • Officials of other schools in which the student wishes to enroll, and;
  • Representatives of federal, accrediting, and research agencies (provided the materials are not personally identifiable).

Public Data has been approved by the OWU Administration for public access (see data classification guidelines). This information is not protected and may be shared without permission. Examples of such data include:

  • Campus maps
  • Department websites
  • Course descriptions
  • Course catalogs
  • Press releases
  • Directory information (unless non-disclosure has been requested by the individual)

Student rights in connection with educational records maintained at Ohio Wesleyan University are:

  • The right to access records maintained about them during their enrollment
  • The right to request to amend their records
  • The right to control the disclosure of their educational records to others.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can you determine if a student has given a faculty member permission to share restricted data? 

Faculty can verify students' FERPA permissions by logging into Report Services. Follow these steps. 

    • Go to MY OWU and Click on Report Services
    • Log in using you single sign on credentials 
    • Click General Reports choose “FERPA waivers by student”


  • Click on Choose a student and select the student by the drop down menu.


  • Check the students name and the parent/guardian or other that they have FERPA given permission to release information other than directory information. 
    • Check to make sure that the student has authorized the release of their Academic information. 
    • Note: If the student's name is not listed on the FERPA report do not release protected information. 

Can I share class rosters with others, such as members of the department’s student board? 

No, class rosters have student ID numbers on them and should not be shared with the student board. 

Can I report aggregate class performance such as grade point averages? 

Yes, as long as you do not identify the students by name

Is class attendance part of a student’s educational record? 

Class attendance is listed under OWU directory information and can be released unless the student requests that we do not release any information. 

Who do I contact if I have any questions about what information I can share? 

You can contact the Registrar’s Office at 740-368-3200 or by email at


Who maintains student records at OWU? 

Academic records are maintained by the Registrar. The Registrar’s office also coordinates applications for reinstatement, requests for withdrawal and leave of absence, evaluation of transfer credits, veteran’s benefits, and certification of degree requirements.

How long are student records maintained? 

In general, student records are destroyed five years after the student’s withdrawal or graduation. Exceptions are: alumni files, teacher placement records, and transcripts of academic work (these are continuously maintained by the appropriate offices). Disciplinary suspension and dismissal proceedings are retained until cleared by the Dean of Students. Open account and loan records are maintained by the Accounting Office for seven years (open accounts) and for one year after the final payment (loans). Counseling Services records are maintained confidentially in accordance with the state laws of Ohio.




Office of the Registrar
University Hall 007
61 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3200
F 740-368-3210

Office Hours

M-F   8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1:30-5 p.m.