Section 2: Response A
Correct. The most conservative and best response is "A"– not to provide the individual the information over the phone.
Under FERPA guidelines, you cannot release this protected information over the telephone. Grades are defined as non-directory information here at the university; FERPA requires a signed release before providing information to a third party. Any person making a phone request for information is immediately considered to be a third party unless verification is completed to ensure the caller is the person he or she claims to be.
Remember, students are our customers and we should provide them with additional assistance to help them resolve their situation and not just say "no". Inform them that they can request a new PIN or request a copy of their transcript to access the information.
You can also refer them to your supervisor or to the Director of Records for further assistance based on their circumstances.
Let’s review the other two responses:
Response "B"– To tell the student her grades over the phone only after she has accurately provided you with the information that verifies her identity and Response "C"– Providing student information over the phone without requesting any further verification.
Response “B” can also be a correct response only if you are able to verify, with certainty, the student’s identity by their responses to a combination of questions; such as their:
- Student identification number
- Date of birth
- Parents' names
- Classes completed and grades
- Current class information such as the day, time, instructor, and building
FERPA does not prohibit you from releasing non-directory information to students themselves but to third parties. When you provide students their information over the phone, we recommend that you document what type of information was released, along with your name, date, and time of conversation. The note should then be filed in the student’s folder, which is maintained by Records and Advisement, for further reference and documentation.
Response "C" is never the correct response. Providing student information over the phone without requesting any further verification is in violation of FERPA and University policies. Again, remember students are our customers and we should provide them with additional assistance to help resolve their situation. If you are unable to verify their identity, you can inform them about their ability to request a new PIN or how to request a copy of their transcript to access the information. You always have the option of referring them to your supervisor or to the Director of Records and Advisement for further assistance based on the circumstances.