Student Privacy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99). The law applies to all schools that receive funds under any applicable U.S. Department of Education program.

Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Keep accurate records of each student’s grades and attendance.
  • Keep student records in a secure place.
  • Print the grade sheets frequently (or back up on a remote medium) and store in a safe place to guard against computer crashes.
  • Keep students’ grades, family issues, and health problems private, even from their friends and families as well as your friends.  If you are concerned about a student’s safety or well-being, contact your faculty supervisor to determine next steps.
  • Do not allow students to see grades of other students.
  • Return graded assignments to each student personally.
  • Do not post grades by BU ID or SSN.  Use random codes or use course management software such as Blackboard 8.
  • You may decide to distribute model papers, but:
    • Obtain the writer’s permission before making copies for the class.
    • Obscure the writer’s personal information before making copies.