Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)

Custodian of Policy: Registrar

Effective Date: Spring 2019

Last Review: Spring 2019

Next Review: Spring 2026


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 10 business days of the day MSUM receives a request for access.
    • Students should submit to the Registrar, Dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. MSUM must provide a student copies if the student agrees to pay any applicable copy costs.
  2. The right to request an amendment to the student's education records which the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.
    • Students may ask MSUM to amend a record by writing the university official responsible for the record. The student must clearly identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. MSUM will notify the student in writing of the decision and advise the student of their right to a hearing if the request was denied. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student at that time.
  3. The right to a written consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
    • MSUM discloses education records without a student's prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by MSUM in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom MSUM has contracted to provide a service (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; representatives of Minnesota State, including the Chancellor, Chancellor's staff; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
    • A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities. Upon request, MSUM may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student is enrolled or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Minnesota State University Moorhead to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
    • Family Policy Compliance Office
      U.S. Department of Education
      400 Maryland Ave. S.W.
      Washington, DC 20202

MSUM may disclose directory information of students. Directory information includes:

  • name
  • local and permanent (hometown) address
  • telephone number
  • major and minor fields of study
  • class level
  • dates of enrollment
  • full time/part time status
  • awards and honors (including Dean's list)
  • degree(s) conferred (including dates)
  • previous educational institution(s) and dates attended
  • past and present participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • height and weight of athletes

MSUM designates the following information as limited directory information.

  • student Star ID number and technical ID number
  • electronic mail addresses (email addresses)
  • photographs taken and maintained by MSUM for various purposes

Accordingly, this information will not be provided to external parties unless the parties are requesting the information to fulfill obligations to MSUM. Use and disclosure of this information shall be limited to publication on websites hosted by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of MSUM, including the online directory and those officials within MSUM who have access, consistent with FERPA, to such information.

Student email addresses and Star ID numbers are defined as Limited Directory Data for enterprise technology related purposes internal to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System that are approved by System Office IT, including, but not limited to, inclusion of email addresses and Star ID numbers in a directory accessible to Minnesota State students and employees.

Additionally, the following information is defined as Limited Directory Data for purposes of sharing with the student association representing MSUM students so the association can communicate with their members.

  • Student name
  • Email address
  • Student change code (NEW/RTN/DROP)

Students may refuse to permit the disclosure of directory information if they notify MSUM's Registrar in writing they do not want such information disclosed.