Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) guidelines, East Carolina University and the Office of the Registrar are not able to provide confidential information pertaining to students without one of the following:

  • Written consent from student. This is done electronically through Pirate Port. Students will log in with their Pirate ID and Pass phrase and click on Tools, then click FERPA Form to grant authorization for third parties (including parents) to access their student records. See the FERPA resource site for complete instructions on granting FERPA permissions via ECU Parent and Family Portal.


  • Visual confirmation, (by way of a copy of an income tax form) that the parent(s) claim the student on the most recent tax return. All financial information may be suppressed, but the student’s name and social security number must be listed under the dependents section of the most recent Federal Income Tax Form 1040 or 1040A.

Once we have received this information, we will be happy to comply with the request. See attached FLYER for additional information on FERPA.

Access to Student Educational Records

In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, it is the policy of the university that students have the following rights in regard to official educational records maintained by the university.

  1. Each student has the right to inspect and review any and all official educational records, files, and data maintained by the university and directly related to the student and not related to other students.
  2. The university will comply with the request from a student to review his or her records within a reasonable time, but in any event not more than forty-five calendar days after the request is made. Any inquiry pertaining to student records should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.
  3. A student who believes that his or her educational records contain inaccuracies or misleading information or that his or her right of privacy is violated on the basis of information contained in such records has the right to a hearing to challenge such information and to have it removed from his or her record or to include in the record his or her own statement of explanation. Any complaint pertaining to student records should be made directly to the Office of the University Registrar, e-mail
  4. The university will not release any information from student records to anyone (except those agencies noted in item below) without the prior written consent of the student. The consent must specify the records or information to be released, the reasons for the release, and the identity of the recipient of the records.
  5. Legitimate educational interest is a demonstrated “need to know” by those officials of an institution who act in the student’s educational interest. They include: faculty, administration, clerical and professional employees, student workers, and other persons who need student record information for the effective functioning of their office or position. The following criteria shall be taken into account in determining the legitimacy of a University official’s access to student’s records:
    • The official must seek the information within the context of the responsibilities that he or she has been assigned.
    • The information sought must be used within the context of official University business and not for purposes extraneous to the official’s area of responsibility to the University.
  6. Information from the student’s records may be released without the written consent of the student in the following situations:
    • in compliance with a court order or subpoena
    • requests from school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the information (as determined by the Office of the University Registrar, a school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position including student workers)
    • requests from other departments or educational agencies who have legitimate educational interest in the information, including persons or companies with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, Higher One or The National Student Clearinghouse)
    • requests from officials of other colleges or universities at which the student intends to enroll or has enrolled provided the student is furnished with a copy, if he or she so requests, so that he or she may have an opportunity to challenge the contents of the record
    • requests from authorized representatives of the US Comptroller General or the administrative head of a federal educational agency in connection with an order or evaluation of federally supported educational programs
    • requests in connection with a student’s application for receipt of financial aid
    • requests from parents of a dependent student as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; OR
    • requests from appropriate persons in connection with an emergency if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.

A student has the right to file a complaint at any time with the US Department of Education. However, it is expected that the student normally would exhaust the available administrative remedies for relief according to the university grievance procedures before filing such a complaint.

Please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website for further information regarding FERPA.