FERPA for Students
The Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law regarding the privacy of student records and the obligations of the institution, primarily in the areas of release of the records and the access to these records. Any educational institution that receives funds under any program administered by the U.S. Secretary of Education is bound by FERPA requirements. Institutions that fail to comply with FERPA may have funds administered by the Secretary of Education withheld.
Bobcat Family Portal
The Bobcat Family Portal will allow your parents and family members access to view your student records. On the day after the request is approved, your parents and/or family members will have access to view your information. You can approve the following types of access:
- Enrolled Hours/Schedule
- Enrollment Status/Degree Information
- Financial Aid Information
- GPA/Completed Coursework
- Account Balance
You will get an email that notifies you of a connection request:
When you click on the link, you will have the option to view the request:
When you approve the request, you can grant access to everything or select individual items to approve. If you want to revoke access, you can update a family member's permissions by viewing the connection in the Bobcat Family Portal and toggling "not approved".
Once access is granted, the parent or family member will receive notifications via email and within the Bobcat Parent Portal.
The following is an example of the information a parent or family member can see via the Bobcat Parent Portal.
Frequently Asked Questions What are my rights as a student?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 afford students certain rights with respect to their educational records:
- To inspect and review the student’s educational records
- To request the amendment of the student’s educational records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
- To consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records with limited exceptions
- To file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning alleged failure to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
- To know the types of personally identifiable information deemed directory information
- To refuse to allow the institution to designate the types of directory information
Do my parents have the right to access my information?
Although your parents do not have a right to these records, the university is permitted to share these records with the parents if you are a dependent of the parents for federal income tax purposes (Parental Affidavit of Dependancy Form). If you are a dependent, the university is permitted to release records to the parent which includes directory information and non-directory information.
How do I restrict access to my directory information?
Current or incoming students may submit a request through the Privacy Hold Request - Current Students form. Former students should file a written request (Privacy Hold Form - Former Students) with the Office of the University Registrar during the first twelve class days of a fall or spring semester, or the first four class days of a summer session. Texas State will apply the request to your records until you notify the Office of the University Registrar otherwise.
What is “directory information”?
Directory information is student information that may be released without the consent of the student, unless the student has requested a privacy hold. Directory information includes the following:
- Fields of study, including major and minor
- Enrollment status (actual hours enrolled, undergraduate, graduate, etc.)
- Degrees, certificates, and awards received
- Type of award received (academic, technical, continuing education, etc.)
- Dates of attendance
- Student classification
- Name of the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended
- Telephone number
- Current and permanent addresses
- Weight and height of athletes
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Names of prospective graduates
- Names of parents
- Photographs of students
- Any other records that could be treated as directory information under FERPA
What can NOT be released without my written consent?
Personally identifiable information in an education record will not be released without your written consent. This information includes the following:
- Social Security number
- Date and Place of Birth
- Student identification number
- Race, ethnicity, and/or nationality
- Grade reports
- E-mail address
How can I give access to my student records?
- The student can provide the parent consent through Bobcat Family Portal. The parent will need to initiate the request.
- The parent can provide proof that they claim the student on their income tax by filling out a Parental Affidavit of Dependacy Form in order to obtain the student’s academic information. This document is required each time information is requested.
Where would I find additional FERPA information?
Any additional questions or comments regarding FERPA may be directed to the Office of the University Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 245-2367.