FERPA for School Officials

All South Dakota Mines faculty and staff are considered school officials, as are all persons performing institutional services for the University. This includes all contractors and consultants, student workers, anyone on official committees, volunteers, and everyone doing any work for Mines. All school officials are required by law to maintain the confidentiality of student records. Any school official who maintains specific records is considered a record custodian. The Registrar’s Office is the official custodian for academic records. The release of any non-directory information about a student to any person without a legitimate educational interest violates University policy, federal and state law, as well as Board of Regents policy.

Relevant BOR and University Policies:

Questions and Answers for Faculty and Staff

The purpose of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is to provide students certain rights with respect to their student record and to protect the student’s right to privacy from the indiscriminate collection, maintenance, disclosure and release of personally identifiable student information, including information regarding student status or performance.

Who is covered under FERPA?  

  • All current and past students who have attended Mines, either as a campus student, distance education, or taking part in a cooperative education program are covered by FERPA.
  • This does not include applicants who do not attend because their application was denied or the prospective student who was accepted and did not attend. (Try to do what is best, even if it is not required by law.)

The age of the student is not a factor. (Parents must provide proof that a student over 18 is a dependent on their income tax return to obtain student records or to talk to advisors or instructors about student progress.)

When does coverage begin and end?  

  • Coverage begins the first day a student enrolls/registers in classes. The coverage of FERPA does not end until death. It is the policy of the Registrar's Office to protect the privacy rights of students as much as possible.

How can exam scores be posted to protect the student’s right to privacy?  

  • Grades may be posted only if the identity of the individual is completely disguised. Students may provide a code or the professor may assign one, but the list should not be published in alphabetic order. Papers or exams should not be returned to the student in such a way that grades may be seen by others.

What is directory information? 

The institution sets its own standards for directory information. At South Dakota Mines, the following is considered directory information and may be released:

Student name, major and field of study, class year (FR, SO, JR, SR, Graduate), enrollment status (undergraduate or graduate; full or part time), dates of attendance, degrees conferred, awards and honors, most recent institution attended, photographs, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and height and weight of student-athletes. 

Mines assumes that students who do not request to withhold disclosure of their directory information consent to the release of this information.

What do you do when you are asked for a student’s schedule?  

  • Provide a student with a copy of his or her schedule upon the presentation of a photo ID or after the student has furnished sufficient information to establish identity.
  • Students can print a schedule from Self-Service Banner.
  • Third party requests for schedules are not honored unless the request falls within an emergency exception to FERPA, then please refer requester to the Registrar's Office or the Dean of Students’ Office.
  • Requests to locate a student are referred to the Dean of Students’ office. That office will get a message to the student.

Notice of FERPA rights to students.  

  • A notice of FERPA rights is available on the South Dakota Mines home page; posters are put up in residence halls and the Surbeck Center; and an ad is put on the campus TV channel.

What access do parents have to their children’s education records?  

  • Parents of college students have no inherent right to inspect their student’s records.
  • Records may be released to parents only under the following circumstances:
  • Written consent of the student; or
  • In compliance with a subpoena, or
  • By submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax forms.

Student workers and FERPA  

  • Student workers on campus are held to the same standards as university personnel when dealing with student information. Emphasize to student workers that any student information should be considered confidential and should not be shared with anyone. A form is available for students to sign, indicating their acceptance of privacy of student information.

What about letters of recommendation?  

  • Statements made from the recommender's personal observation or knowledge of the student do not require a written consent.
  • If personally identifiable information obtained from the student’s education records is included, such as grades, GPA, etc., the writer is required to obtain a signed release from the student. The release should specify the records to be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure and to whom disclosed.  

Request to prevent disclosure form.  


If you are uncertain whether a request involves FERPA rights, please contact Diana Eastman (Diana.Eastman@sdsmt.edu) in the Registrar's Office in the O’Harra Building.

Contact: Registrar's Office 

Office of the Registrar

O'Harra Building, Room 201

Office Hours

Academic Year:
7:30 am to 4:30 pm
7:30 am to 4:00 pm
Phone: (605) 394-2400

Registrar's Office
Email the Registrar