FERPA Notice to Students

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 —
Official Notice to Students

Student Records Policy for Texas A&M University

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended (FERPA), the following directory information may be made public unless the student desires to withhold any or all of this information:

Directory Information Items
Universal Identification Number (UIN) - effective January 2012
Local Address
Permanent Address
E-mail Address
Local Telephone Number
Permanent Telephone Number
Dates of Attendance
Program of Study
Previous Educational Agencies/Institutions Attended
Degrees, Honors, and Awards Received
Participation in Officially Recognized Activities and Sports
Medical Residence Location (Health Science Center students)
Medical Residence Specialization (Health Science Center students)

Currently enrolled students wishing to withhold any or all directory information items may do so by going to https://howdy.tamu.edu and clicking on the "My Information" icon.

Once information has been published in a printed publication, it cannot be removed from that publication. The campus directory is published once a year, and after it is compiled, no information can be removed before the next printing.

Only currently enrolled students are eligible to restrict directory information. Once a student has left the university, they can no longer set restrictions on directory information at the university. If a student restricts his/her directory information and leaves the university, the restriction continues until the student removes it.

Texas A&M University and the Office of the Registrar will exercise discretion in the release of all directory information.

Texas A&M University encourages students to exercise all of their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g). Operating under the premise that the educational process is a cooperative venture between a student and the university, the university emphasizes the following rights of students:

  1. The right to inspect and review, with certain limited exceptions, the student's education records, including the right to receive explanations and interpretations of the records and to obtain copies of the records when such are needed to allow the student to effectively exercise his/her right of inspection and review. Conduct files maintained by the Student Conduct Office will be administered under its rules. Students who want to inspect and review their education records should submit a written request that identifies the record(s) to the appropriate record custodian. The custodian 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 custodian to whom the request was submitted, that custodian will advise the student of the correct school official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to seek amendment of a student's education records when the records are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of FERPA. A student wishing to seek amendment of education records should notify the appropriate record custodian. The notice must be written and specifically identify the desired amendment and the basis for the request. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested, the university will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
    • One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person or entity:
      1. employed by the university or the university system in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position;
      2. serving on a university governing body or duly authorized panel or committee; or
      3. not employed by the university who performs an institutional task, function, or service for which the university would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the university with respect to the use and maintenance of education records.
    • A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the information requested is necessary for that official to fulfill their professional responsibility, such as to
      1. perform appropriate tasks that are specified in their position description or in the performance of regularly assigned duties by their supervisor;
      2. fulfill the terms of a contractual agreement;
      3. perform a task related to a student’s education;
      4. perform a task related to the discipline of a student; or
      5. provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, financial aid, job placement, or former student-related activities.
    • The university, in accordance with FERPA, also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is requested by the other school and for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

All the rights and protections given under FERPA belong to the student. However, information in student records may be provided to parents/legal guardians without the written consent of the student if the eligible student is a financial dependent of his or her parents/legal guardians as defined under Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

For procedures on how to inspect and review or correct education records, please refer to the Texas A&M University Standard Administrative Procedure on Student Records.

Students shall have access to all of their education records as maintained by the University with the exception of the following:

  1. A personal record kept by a University official member which meets the following tests:
    • It is in the personal possession of the individual who made it.
    • Information contained in it has never been revealed or made available to any other person except the maker's temporary substitute.
  2. An employment record which is used only in relation to a student's employment by the University, except where an individual in attendance at the University is employed as a result of his or her status as a student.
  3. Records relating to a student which are created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or para-professional acting in his or her professional or para-professional capacity or assisting that capacity, which are used in connections with providing treatment to a student, are not disclosed to anyone other than the individuals providing the treatment.
  4. Financial records and statements of a student's parents/legal guardians.
  5. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the education records of a student prior to January 1, 1975.
  6. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation which were placed in the education records of a student on or after January 1, 1975, if the student has waived his or her right to inspect and review the letters or statements.
  7. Records concerning admissions to an academic component of the University which the student has never attended.

Questions concerning the Family Education Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) may be referred to the Registrar.

Under provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students enrolled in post-secondary educational institutions are deemed to “own” their educational records. Institutions may, but are not required to, grant access to certain non-directory information in a student's educational record if the student is claimed as a dependent on his or her parent's/guardian's federal income tax return. Generally non-directory information will not be released to a parent or guardian unless a Certification of Dependency Form is completed and signed by both the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student and is brought to the:

Office of the Registrar,
General Services Complex,
750 Agronomy Road, Suite 1501

or mailed to the:

Office of the Registrar
P.O. Box 30018
College Station, TX 77842-3018.
Current students may authorize parent/guardian access to view certain non-directory information (e.g., grades) within Howdy. In order for parents/guardians to gain access to this information in Howdy, the student must request it via the My Record tab in Howdy. Once a student is no longer enrolled at Texas A&M University, a parent's/guardian's Howdy account will be inactivated. If a student re-enrolls at Texas A&M University, the student may re-activate the parent/guardian Howdy accounts. Once parent/guardian Howdy access has been inactivated upon their student becoming a former student, parents/guardians may still contact the Registrar's Office to obtain information on their former student, providing the parent/guardian is able to demonstrate eligibility to receive this information in compliance with FERPA.
The Family Policy Compliance Office reviews and investigates complaints of violations of FERPA. The penalty for violating FERPA is loss of all federal funding, including grants and financial aid.

If you witness or commit what you believe to be a possible FERPA violation, please notify the Office of the Registrar immediately at 979-845-1145, ferpa@tamu.edu or Help Desk Central at 979-845-8300 (24 hours). The Office of the Registrar will investigate the matter and determine what action, if any, should be taken. If you have any questions about FERPA compliance or the release of student information, please contact Venesa Heidick, Registrar at vheidick@tamu.edu or 979-845-1145.