Confidentiality and Security

Educational records are kept by University offices to facilitate the educational development of students. Faculty and staff members may also keep informal records relating to their functional responsibilities with individual students.

The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 identifies the rights of students and their families with respect to student educational records kept by institutions. As part of the requirements of FERPA, the University has a policy on Confidentiality of Student Records.

For additional information, visit the website of the Office of Enterprise Risk Management, Ethics and Compliance

The Law Provides

  • the right of access to education records by persons who attend or who have attended Rutgers University. Applicants for admission and those denied admission do not have access rights.
  • the right to inspect, review, and obtain copies of records (with some limitations).
  • the right to challenge the content of a record.
  • the right to waive access to certain items, if you feel this waiver would be beneficial.
  • the right to know what records are kept, under whose jurisdiction, and for what period of time.

The Law Protects Your Interests

  • by requiring your written consent prior to releasing your records to others.
  • by maintaining a record of requests for information from your file and indicating the reasons for and disposition of the requests. You may inspect this record.
  • by stipulating to the recipient of your record that your record may not be released to others without your consent and that it may not be used for any purpose other than those specified in the original release.
  • by publicly announcing those elements of directory information which will be released without your consent and providing you with an opportunity to restrict the release of this information.

Your Rights of Access to Your Records

The right of access to education records means that you are entitled to review, inspect, and obtain copies of your education records (with some limitations). The law defines education records as:

“Educational records are those records which: (1) are directly related to a student, and (2) are maintained by an educational agency or institution.”

Right of Access to Your Records by Others

Before the university can release your records to most third parties, you must authorize such a release. Your consent to release records must be written, signed, and dated. It should specify the records to be disclosed, the purpose for disclosure, and the party, or class of parties, to whom disclosure may be made.

You may, for your convenience, give general consent to classes of inquiries (for example, all prospective employers). You may request a copy of the record to be disclosed and, if it contains confidential material to which you have either no right of access or have waived your right of access, you are entitled to an inventory of such material.

The university may release information without your consent to:

  1. Officials or faculty of Rutgers University who have a legitimate educational interest in your records.
  2. Authorized representatives of:
    • The Comptroller General of the United States.
    • The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
    • The Commissioner of Education, the Director of the National Institute of Education, or the Assistant Secretary for Education.
    • State educational authorities.
  3. Financial aid officers to:
    • determine your eligibility.
    • determine the amount of your financial aid.
    • determine the conditions which will be imposed regarding your financial aid.
    • enforce terms or conditions.
  4. State officials or authorities to whom information is specifically required to be reported or disclosed pursuant to state statutes adopted prior to November 19, 1974.
  5. Educational testing organizations, if no personally identifiable information is disclosed.
  6. Accrediting organizations in order that they may carry out their accrediting function.
  7. A court in compliance with a judicial order. (In such a case, the university will make a reasonable effort to notify the student in advance of the release.)
  8. Life safety personnel in a health or a safety emergency.

Any of these disclosures are subject to the restrictions imposed by the act and subject to your review.

Directory Information

The university is permitted to provide directory information without your consent. However, you are entitled to know what is classified as directory information and you have the right to request that such information not be disclosed. Rutgers defines directory information as:

  • Name, campus address, campus post office address, campus telephone number
  • Permanent (home) address, permanent (home) telephone number
  • Rutgers e-mail address, RUCS user name
  • School of attendance, major field of study, class year, dates of attendance, current credit load, credit hours earned, degree(s) received, and date(s) of degree(s)
  • Weight and height of intercollegiate athletes
  • Most recent previous school attended

You may request that such information be kept confidential by writing to the University Registrar, 56 Bevier Road, Suite 101, Piscataway, New Brunswick, NJ 08854-8096. Publishers of the On-line Student Directory are required to honor your request.

Directory Information Exclusion Form

For further information see the Directory Information Exclusion Form below. Should you wish to withhold your directory information from being released to external agencies, print and complete the form and mail it to your campus’s Office of the Registrar.

Directory Information Exclusion Form