Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Duquesne University

Annual Notification

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records.  An "eligible student" under FERPA is a student who is either 18 years of age or older or one who is enrolled in a postsecondary institution.  Students' rights under FERPA include:  1) the right to inspect and review their education record, 2) the right to request amendment of their education record if they believe it is inaccurate or misleading, and, 3) the right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from a student's education record, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.  

The University's FERPA Policy is described in detail among the Administration Policies. 

With certain exceptions, Duquesne University is prohibited from disclosing student information to most third-parties, including parents, without the student's consent. One exception is "Directory Information"

Directory Information as Exception

One of the exceptions to the release of student information is "Directory Information."  Under FERPA, the University may, at its discretion, disclose Directory Information without a student's consent.  Directory Information includes student name; address and telephone (local and home); place of birth; major field of study; dates of attendance; class level; full-time/part-time status; participation in officially recognized organizations, activities, and sports; academic awards, honors; degree/s conferred including dates; previous institutions attended; weight and height of members of athletic teams; student's Duquesne University email address.

Students are to use the "Answer a Survey" link on the Self-Service Banner menu in DORI (under Personal Information) to request nondisclosure of Directory Information.

Consider Options for Disclosure

Current students may request that their Directory Information not be disclosed but should carefully consider the consequences of requesting that it not be disclosed. 

  • If you request the University to withhold directory information, the University cannot acknowledge the fact of your enrollment to most parties other than University employees without your specific written consent. 
  • The University may not be able to verify your enrollment to a prospective employer or to someone who wants to provide you with financial aid or insurance. 
  • The University will not be able to publish or share your name for the purposes of joining honor societies or other organizations, and you cannot participate in athletics which require the publication of team rosters. 
  • The University will be unable to publish your name in the University's Commencement Program/s.

The University assumes no liability for the consequences of compliance with this order to withhold information about you.

In summary, Directory Information may be disclosed to third-parties without the student's consent unless the student requests that it not be (referred to as nondisclosure of Directory Information).  Disclosure of all other information to third-parties (e.g., parents) is prohibited by the provisions of FERPA.  In order to share non-directory information with third-parties, including parents, students must waive their rights.

Waiver of FERPA Rights to Parents and Guardians

Under FERPA, parents and legal guardians are considered to be third-parties and may only have access to a student's education record with the consent of the student. Parents and guardians can request access to a student's educational records through Duquesne University's Parent Portal. Through the portal, such third-parties can submit an access request to their student. The request to access educational records is sent electronically to the student, and it is a student's right under FERPA to accept or decline the access request. The third-party will receive a reply via with a response to the request.


Access granted by the student to parents or legal guardians will remain in effect until such time that the student revokes it. Once a student separates from the University, only requests for nondisclosure of Directory Information remain in effect.

Guidance for Faculty and Staff

Duquesne University has implemented a new parent portal. Third-party (e.g., parent or legal guardian)) requests to access students' education records are now communicated between the third-party and student through the portal. Parents and guardians can submit a request to view student information through the portal, and the student, then, can approve or decline the request.

Before discussing FERPA-protected student information with parents or other third-parties, university employees must use the parent portal to determine if the student has granted permission to share that information with the individual. Please log on to DORI > Employee > Policies and Procedures to access the instructions for using the portal, which are contained in the FERPA Channel.

Letters of Recommendation

For letters of recommendations, evaluations, and the like, if the content of the request will include details from a student's education record (e.g., courses, grades, class rank, scholarships), a student must specifically grant authorization to the Duquesne University School Official to release the desired details to the designated third-party.

Current and former students must complete the FERPA Release for Faculty/Staff Letter of Recommendation or Academic Reference form, specifying 1) the purpose of the release, 2) the type of disclosure, 3) contents of education record that may be released, and 4) the third-party to whom the information may be released. (Preferred browsers are Internet Explorer and Safari). 

Complete the form identifying the Duquesne University School Official (faculty or staff member) from whom you are asking for the reference. Answer all additional questions and deliver the signed form to the Duquesne University School Official. (You may want to keep a copy for your records.) Whether a recommendation or reference will be provided is at the discretion of the School Official.

NOTE: If the content of such a letter or evaluation will include only the School Official's personal observations or knowledge of a student and not any details from the education record, no signed release is required.