Under FERPA, except for "directory information" about a student, a student's records may be released without their prior written consent only to other school officials who have a "legitimate educational interest" in the information. A "school official" is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement, counseling and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees, the Visiting Committee, or another University committee; a student serving on an official University committee (such as a disciplinary committee) or who is assisting another school official in performing their tasks; and any other person determined by the University to have a need to know the information in order to perform their administrative tasks, provide a service or benefit for a student, or to fulfill a legitimate educational interest of the University. A school official has a "legitimate educational interest" if the official needs to review an education record or have access to the information in the education record in order to fulfill their responsibilities for or on behalf of the University.
As specified in more detail in FERPA, a student's education records may also be disclosed without their prior written consent under certain circumstances, including:
- To specified federal and state officials subject to certain conditions;
- To officials of another school, school system, or institute of post-secondary education that has requested the record and where a student seeks or intends to enroll;
- In connection with a student's application for or receipt of financial aid;
- To state officials who, pursuant to state statute prior to November 19, 1974, had access to records;
- To organizations such as the Educational Testing Service and the College Entrance Examination Board for the purpose of "developing, validating, or administering predictive tests";
- To accrediting organizations for the purposes of accrediting;
- To parents of a student who is a dependent for income tax purposes (see Release of Information to Parents & Guardians section following);
- To "appropriate persons," including parents, in the event of health and safety emergencies;
- In response to a judicial order or subpoena; and
- To parents of a student who is a dependent for income tax purposes (see Release of Information to Parents & Guardians section following) and to parents or guardians of a student who is not a dependent to the fullest extent allowed under FERPA and have a signed release form submitted to their area Dean of Students.