Ask the FERPA Professor

July 25, 2022
  • FERPA Professor
cartoon figure reminiscent of Einstein stands in front of a chalkboard with the board "FERPA" written on it

Dear FERPA Professor,

I have not reached out to you for some time, and I hope you are doing well and enjoying the Summer. 

Would you please help me with this unusual FERPA-related request when you get a chance? 

The wife of a deceased former student who graduated many years ago (1966) would like a copy of the academic records of her husband. The stated reason for the request is for an embassy requirement for their daughter, who resides in the Philippines. 

What would be the correct manner to handle the possible release of academic records to the family? My initial next step would be to request more information, including identification and documentation of the former student and the requester before we can consider.

Thank you so much in advance for your advice/recommendation.

Mr. Yi

Dear Mr. Yi,

Education records on a deceased "eligible student" are no longer subject to FERPA. Thus, so long as documentation has been provided that the student is deceased, then, from a FERPA perspective, it is the option of the institution on how it handles such a request. You would, however, want to be aware of state laws limiting such disclosures. You can find the definition of "eligible student" on page 154 of the 2012 AACRAO FERPA Guide. I hope this is helpful in answering your question.

The FERPA Professor

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