FAQ for Faculty & Staff

No. FERPA requires Yale to show students their own records within 45 days of a formal request, but, otherwise, FERPA does not require Yale to disclose any student education records to anyone.

FERPA is not a records retention law, and it requires Yale to preserve education records in one circumstance only: while formal requests by students to review their own education records are pending.

Yes, so long as Yale removes all information that, alone or in combination, would allow the student to be identified. Please consult the registrar of the student’s school before disclosing de-identified information.

In certain circumstances, some information in the following categories may not be considered “education records” covered by FERPA:

  • medical records;
  • law enforcement records;
  • employment records;
  • records about post-graduation alumni achievements; and
  • a faculty or staff member’s personal notes about a student that are not shared with others.

In addition, your personal observations of a student’s behavior are not education records covered by FERPA.

Please consult the registrar of the student’s school before concluding that the types of information discussed above are not protected by FERPA.

In the vast majority of cases, FERPA’s “directory information” exception allows Yale to disclose a student’s name, address, Yale program, and other basic information. The complete list of information that Yale considers directory information can be found here

Please Note: Students are permitted to opt out of the disclosure of directory information, and, every year, a few students make that choice. For this reason, before you disclose directory information, you must consult the registrar of the student’s school to see whether the student has chosen non-disclosure status.

Yale policy does not allow you to discuss a student’s academic performance with the student’s parents, and you should refer any parental requests for information to the dean of the student’s residential college or the registrar of the student’s school. Yale College’s policy on parental notification can be found here.

If the letter will include your personal observations only, then you do not need to obtain the student’s written consent. If you intend to refer to the student’s grades or other education records, then the student will need to provide written consent.

Yes, but you may ask students to waive their right to see letters of recommendation. The waiver must be in writing.

Yes, but only if the company offering the program signs an agreement with Yale protecting the confidentiality of the students’ records and accepting its responsibility as a “School Official” under FERPA. If you wish to use such a program, please contact the Center for Teaching and Learning.