Apr 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Privacy Rights of Students in Education Records

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. 1232g) (FERPA) and regulations adopted thereunder (34 C.F.R. 99) set out requirements designed to protect students’ privacy in their educational records maintained by the university. The statute and regulations govern access to certain student records maintained by the university and the release of those records. FERPA provides that the university must give students access to most records directly related to the student and must also provide an opportunity to correct the records if the student believes the records are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate. The right to petition to correct a record under FERPA does not include the right to challenge the appropriateness of a grade determined by the instructor. In addition, FERPA generally requires the university obtain a student’s written consent before releasing personally identifiable data pertaining to the student. The university has adopted a set of policies and procedures governing the implementation of FERPA and its regulations. Copies of these policies and procedures may be obtained at the Registrar’s Office. Among the information included in the university statement of policies and procedures is: 

  1. The student records maintained and the information they contain; 
  2. The university official responsible for maintaining each record; 
  3. The location of access lists identifying persons requesting or receiving information from the record; 
  4. Policies for reviewing and expunging records; 
  5. Student access rights to their records; 
  6. Procedure for challenging the content of student records; and 
  7. The student’s right to file a complaint with the Department of Education, which enforces FERPA. The Department of Education has established an office and review board to investigate complaints and adjudicate potential FERPA violations. The designated office is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-5920.

FERPA authorizes that the university may release “directory information” pertaining to students. “Directory information” may include the student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status, degrees, honors, and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution the student attended. The university may release this “directory information” at any time unless the university has received prior written objection from the student specifying the information the student requests not be released. Written objections must be sent to the Registrar’s Office. It should be noted, however, that University Policy S66-20 is more restrictive than the law. SJSU policy guidelines indicate that the only directory information routinely released to outside parties without student consent is enrollment status and degree completion (if applicable). Requests for addresses and telephone numbers are not honored, especially if requested for commercial purposes.

The university is authorized to provide access to student records without prior student consent to university officials, employees and others who have legitimate educational interests in such access. These persons include those with legitimate reasons to access student records to perform the university’s academic, administrative or service functions, and those with a reason for accessing student records associated with their university or other related academic responsibilities. Student records will also be disclosed to the CSU Chancellor’s Office to conduct research, to analyze trends, or to provide other administrative services. Student records may also be disclosed without prior student consent to other persons or organizations under certain conditions (e.g., as part of the accreditation or program evaluation, in response to a court order or subpoena, in connection with financial aid, or to other institutions to which the student is transferring).

University Development (Advancement) Programs

Directory information (see definition earlier) may be used by the university for the development of campus affiliated programs.

Career Placement Information

The Career Center may furnish, upon request, information about the employment of students who graduate from programs or courses of study preparing students for a particular career field. Any such data provided must be in a form that does not allow for the identification of any individual student. This information includes data concerning the average starting salary and the percentage of previously enrolled students who obtained employment.

The information may include data collected from either graduates of the university or graduates of all universities in the California State University system.

Student Identification Information

SJSU ID Number

San José State University is concerned about keeping your personal data private. We are required to use Social Security numbers to process payroll; award financial aid and document fees paid for tax relief purposes. However, for all other purposes, we will use your SJSU ID number for identification, rather than your Social Security Number.

Use of Social Security Number

Applicants are required to include their correct social security numbers in designated places on applications for admission pursuant to the authority contained in Section 41201, Title 5, California Code of Regulations, and Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6109). The university uses the social security number to identify students and their records including identification for purposes of financial aid eligibility and disbursement and the repayment of financial aid and other debts payable to the institution. Also, the Internal Revenue Service requires the university to file information returns that include the student’s social security number and other information such as the amount paid for qualified tuition, related expenses, and interest on educational loans. This information is used by the IRS to help determine whether a student, or a person claiming a student as a dependent, may take a credit or deduction to reduce federal income taxes.