Student Rights and Privacy

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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 was designed to protect the confidentiality of education records and to give students access to their records to assure the accuracy of their contents. The Act provides students certain rights with regard to their education records. Detailed information about FERPA can be found on Michigan State University’s FERPA website.

Your student’s rights begin when they register with MSU and attend their first class. The privacy protection FERPA gives to students is very broad.  Some examples of these student records that are protected include grade reports, transcripts, and most disciplinary files. This protected information cannot be released to any third party, such as parents, without signed and dated written consent from the student.

Parents often express interest and concern for their student’s academic progress. At MSU, we hope that our students will maintain open communication with their parents, guardians, and/or family members regarding their academic progress and other important issues that occur in their lives.

While we understand that parents often call the residence halls regarding their student’s whereabouts, residence hall staff is unable to provide any information regarding students. If emergencies arise and you need to contact your student immediately, please contact the Michigan State University Police Department at 517-355-2221.

We therefore also encourage you to discuss these matters with your student. Communicating with young adults can be challenging at times; they’re not always as forthcoming as you would like. The college years, however, are a period of remarkable growth and development. The ability and willingness of students to share information and insights usually grows, especially as they acquire the confidence that comes with assuming greater responsibility for their own lives.

For additional information about FERPA and the University’s policies, consult the University’s FERPA website.