Ask the FERPA Professor

July 11, 2022
  • FERPA Professor
cartoon figure reminiscent of Einstein stands in front of a chalkboard with the board "FERPA" written on it

Hi FERPA Professor – hope you are doing well.

I have a question about the FERPA Rights of “Access and Review” of Records.

I have an international student that submitted her International High School Transcript as part of her Admission packet in 2015.  The student never attended but we do have a copy of the Transcript on file.  Generally, we would provide access to review and inspect these documents if they provide valid identification and come in person to the office.  Unfortunately she is currently living in out of state.

Two questions:

  1. Are we obligated to provide this unofficial transcript record to her for review since she never became a student?

  2. How can facilitate the “review and inspect” if she is not able to come in person?

Mr. Land

Dear Mr. Land,

The good news on your questions is that #1 is a "no," so you don't have to think about question #2.  FERPA covers education records on "students," and does not include applicants records unless the applicant becomes a student at the University. § 99.3 "Student" is the relevant regulation which you can find on page 155 of the 2012 AACRAO FERPA Guide.

I hope this is helpful in answering your questions.

The FERPA Professor

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