Ask the FERPA Professor

September 7, 2021
  • FERPA
  • FERPA Training & Review
  • Student Academic Records and Academic Policy
  • FERPA
  • FERPA Professor
  • Student Records Management

Dear Professor, 

With the new Name/Image/Likeness rules outlined by the NCAA and many state laws, there are questions about how this affects a student’s education record. Because our institution must review any contracts that the students sign with possible companies/sponsors to ensure that it does not conflict with an institution’s contract, the student is submitting to the institution their contract that includes identifiable data and the student name. Because the institution will maintain this and it contacts identifiable information (such as name, etc.), our interpretation is that this is part of the education record and therefore must be protected as such. Is this a correct interpretation? 

Thank you,
A FERPA guardian


Dear FERPA Guardian,

Your interpretation of FERPA is correct in the example you provide.  FERPA defines education records as those records that are directly related to the student and maintained by the institution or a party acting for the institution.  (See §99.3 "Education Records.")  As described below, the contracts submitted to the institution for review meet the FERPA definition because they are personally identifiable to the student-athlete and the institution is maintaining the contracts.  Thus, any action, including disclosure of the contracts, must be done in accordance with FERPA. 

I hope this is helpful in answering your question.  You can find the above-cited regulation on page 154 of the 2012 AACRAO FERPA  Guide.

The FERPA Professor