Confidentiality and FERPA


DRS established policies and procedures regarding confidentiality and the release of information from a student's file.

  • The University accords students all rights under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 ("FERPA"). Under FERPA, all students in attendance at the University who are 18 years of age are deemed emancipated, and parents/guardians will thus not have authority to inspect, review and/or discuss the confidential information supporting and/or relevant to a son or daughter affiliated with DRS, without written consent of the said student unless the release of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
  • Information acquired by DRS, including but not limited to: psycho-educational testing, neuropsychological testing, disability information, medical information, psychological information, case notes, educational information and records (grades, standardized test scores) will be maintained as confidential as required and/or permitted by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Information contained in DRS files will not be released except in accordance with federal and state laws, which require the release of information on a “need to know basis” or to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
  • DRS files that are requested to be produced by a court order or subpoena will be handled by the University's Office of General Counsel.
  • A student may provide written authorization for the release of information to an appropriate professional, agency or institution. Information will not be released without written consent.

University of Pittsburgh FERPA Notification of Rights

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate program director, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the students of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing and is available at UP Policy and Procedure 09-08-01.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the University will disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. The University will forward records on request of another school.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by University of Pittsburgh to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Questions concerning the University’s FERPA Policy may also be directed to the Office of the Registrar at 412-624-7600.