FERPA and Privacy Information

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA, as amended, also known as the Buckley Amendment, provides for confidentiality of student records and the right of a student to have access to his/her records. The Luther College Student Handbook describes the policies that govern maintenance of and access to student's personal and academic records. In general, information from a student's record may not be released to any other person, agency, or organization without written consent of the student, and a student has a right to have access to his/her own file. Institutions may disclose educational records without written consent of the student to: personnel of the institution determined to have legitimate educational interest and parents who have dependent sons/daughters, as determined by the IRS for tax purposes. Questions about issues of confidentiality of academic student records should be addressed to the Registrar.

Directory Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 requires educational institutions to give public notice to students of the categories of personally identifiable information which the institution has designated as public/directory information. Students have the right to withhold the disclosure of any of this information; you must give notice to that effect in writing to the Student Life Office. Please consider very carefully the consequences of withholding directory information. The ready availability of such information will almost always be to your advantage. Categories include: name, phone numbers and addresses (college and permanent), e-mail address, classification (year in school), major(s), honors, awards, degrees conferred, dates of attendance, participation in sports and activities, height and weight of athletic team members, date and place of birth.

References and FERPA

Luther employees are frequently asked to provide references to external organizations for scholarships, employment, or professional and graduate school opportunities for current and former Luther students. Verbal or written communication of this nature that includes student academic record information (e.g. courses completed, grades earned, and class rank) without the consent of the student is a violation of FERPA.

Luther employees must receive a signed Reference Consent Form prior to providing references that include non-directory student record information for current and former Luther students to external recipients. This form and process are not required for internal references if the recipient is a Luther official and has a legitimate "need to know." Please contact the Registrar's office if you are unsure of the need to use the form.

Please follow one of the procedures outlined below:

  • On-campus students. The student must complete and sign a printed version of the form, including the name of the Luther employee providing the reference. One form must be completed and delivered to each person serving as a reference. The Luther employee makes a copy of the form for their records and forwards the original to the Registrar’s office for the student’s file.
  • Off-campus current and former students. The student must complete and sign a printed version of the form, including the name of the Luther employee providing the reference. A scanned copy of the form is emailed, as an attachment, to [email protected] and the Luther employee providing the reference for the student.

Parent Portal

The Parent Portal is available for parents to assist their son or daughter with their financial responsibilities as well as to view grades and class schedule. The student must grant permission for a parent to view their information.