Stephen F. Austin State University

Privacy Rights (FERPA)

The Essence of FERPA

See more details in the SFASU FERPA Brochure

Important Information for Parents

When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a postsecondary institution regardless of age, a federal statue entitled the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), transfers right of access to academic records to the student. This removes automatic access by parents and limits the Registrar's ability to provide confidential information by phone, fax, or email to anyone, even the student. Parents, like any other third party, may obtain directory information at the discretion of the institution. The university designates the following items as directory information:

Students have the right to restrict directory information. When this occurs, the Registrar's Office cannot confirm that a student attended SFA, nor release any information regarding the student.

Parents may request to have access to their dependent child's academic/financial information and other student records. The completed and filed Certification of Dependency Form authorizes officials of Stephen F Austin State University to discuss and/or release such student records, some of which may be considered confidential under the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), to the parent. Under FERPA, parents can prove their student's dependency through their Federal Income Tax Return and obtain access to their student's educational records. Parents must complete the Certification of Dependency form (located in the Registrar's Office) and provide the Registrar's Office with the completed form and a copy of the parents' Federal Income Tax Return (the first page only is needed) that proves that the student is a dependent. Note: this process can be overridden by the student if the student restricts directory information.

Even with the completed and filed Certification of Dependency Form, the Registrar's Office is still limited in our ability to provide confidential information by phone, fax, or email to anyone, even the student.

Links for Additional Information about FERPA