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What Are Not Considered Education Records?

There are five types of documents that are not considered to be Education Records under FERPA.

First, personal notes, made outside the presence of the student. Second, law enforcement unit records. Third, employment records. Fourth, medical records. And finally, alumni records.

Personal notes, also known as sole possession notes, are made and maintained by a faculty or staff member. For example, an adviser meets with a student to discuss the upcoming semester. After the student leaves the room, the adviser documents what was discussed and files the note in his or her own file drawer. This is considered to be a personal note because it was not made in the presence of others and it was filed in the adviser's own office. Therefore, this personal note is not part of the education record and is not subject to FERPA.

Law enforcement unit records are maintained solely for law enforcement purposes.

Employment records are not considered part of the education record unless the person's employment is contingent upon being a student, such as a graduate student or a work-study student.

Medical records are defined as being created by a healthcare professional and are only used for the medical or health treatment of the student. The privacy and security of medical records are covered under HIPPA (Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act). Finally, alumni records are created after the student has left the institution and therefore are not considered part of the education record.

Key Points:

What are not considered education records:

  • Personal notes not made in the presence of the student
  • Law Enforcement Unit Records
    -Maintained solely for law enforcement purposes
    -Revealed only to law enforcement agencies
  • Employment Records
    -Employment is not contingent upon being a student
    -Records created as a result of being a student through work studies or graduate assistantships, for example, are education records
  • Medical Records
    -Created by a health care professional
    -Used only for the medical/health treatment of the student
  • Alumni Records
    -Created after student has left the institution