Summary of FERPA

Student education records are considered confidential and may not be released without written consent of the student, except by provisions outlined in FERPA (exceptions are handled by the Registrar). As a faculty or staff member you have a responsibility to protect education records in your possession. You have access to student information only for legitimate educational use in completion of your responsibilities as a Western Washington University employee. Information cannot be used for any other purpose. Some information is considered public or directory information. This information can be released without the student's written permission. However, the student can request this information to be confidential as well. Western Washington University, which has chosen to be more restrictive than the law allows, has defined directory information as:

  • Student Name
  • Full or Part-time Status
  • Academic & Other Honors
  • Degree Earned & Date Conferred
  • Dates of Attendance (including withdrawal date)

If you are ever in doubt, do not release any information until you contact the Registrar's Office at (360) 650-3430 or The Registrar's Office is responsible for student record information.

What is a Student Education Record?

Most information provided to Western Washington University by a student for use in the educational process is considered a student education record. Some examples are:

  • Personally identifiable information such as student name, student ID number, or personal characteristics.
  • Grades
  • Class Schedules

The storage media in which you find this information does not matter. Student education records may be:

  • A document in the Registrar's Office
  • A computer printout in your office
  • A class roster on your desk
  • A computer screen display
  • Notes you have taken during an advising session