Ask the FERPA Professor

March 23, 2015
  • AACRAO Connect
  • FERPA Professor

Dear FERPA Professor,

My institution is considering the development of a reverse transfer program. Do we need to get the permission of the student to send their transcript from our 4 year institution back to their 2 year institution?  My feeling is yes, but I want to be sure of this.


Shirley B. Dunn


Dear Shirley,

You are correct in your thinking on the reverse transfer issue. In order to send a student’s education record created at your institution back to the student’s previous institution, you would generally require a signed consent from the student.  FERPA contains an exception to signed consent which permits institutions to forward records to a school where a student "seeks or intends" to enroll but not an exception for sending records created on the student by the current institution back to the student's previously attended school.  

The University of North Carolina System has a good model for a successful reverse transfer program which you should reference if you want more details on how to set up your own system.

I hope this is helpful in answering your question.

The FERPA Professor 

Please visit our Ask the FERPA Professor archives for more insight from the professor.

Please send your questions for the FERPA Professor to


AACRAO's bi-weekly professional development e-newsletter is open to members and non-members alike.