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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA affords students certain privacy rights regarding their education records. Those rights and key definitions are summarized here; for more-detailed information about FERPA, visit

Questions about the student records privacy policy related to either undergraduate students or graduate and professional students may be directed to the Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020 or [email protected].

Key Definitions


Any individual who attends or has attended Azusa Pacific University. The term does not apply to applicants for admission, nor does it apply to persons who have been admitted but who have not registered.

Education Record

Any record(s) directly related to a student and maintained by Azusa Pacific University or by a party acting for the university. Some exceptions apply. For more information, see the Privacy of Education Records Policy (PDF).

Directory Information

Information that may be released to the public at the university’s discretion, unless the student indicates otherwise, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. However, it is the general policy of the university to not release directory information regarding its student unless, in the judgment of the appropriate record custodian or other officials with record access, such release either serves a legitimate educational purpose or is not adverse to the interests and privacy of the student. The student, however, may request that certain categories of directory information not be released to the public without his/her written consent. Such requests shall be submitted in accordance with the student records policy of the university. As a matter of California law, a student’s address and course schedule may not be disclosed as “directory information.”

Azusa Pacific University has designated the following categories as directory information, which may, at the university’s discretion, be released to the public without consent of the student:

  • Name of Student
  • Email addresses
  • Telephone numbers (local and permanent)
  • Photographs
  • Dates of registered attendance
  • Enrollment status (e.g., full time or part time)
  • School or division of enrollment
  • Major field of study
  • Nature and dates of degrees and awards received
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams

FERPA for Families

FERPA’s primary purpose is to establish a uniform framework for access to, review of, and correction of academic records at all schools nationwide. In primary and secondary educational institutions, FERPA grants these rights to the parent, but these rights are transferred exclusively to the student once the student reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level (i.e. a postsecondary educational institution no matter the age of the student). Students who wish their records to be released to third parties such as a parent or spouse must authorize the university in writing or through the university portal.

It is important to know that FERPA regulations still apply even if the spouse or parents are paying the bill for tuition, fees, etc.

FERPA regulations protect a student’s “education records,” which include grades, finances, and discipline records. Physical and mental health records are covered by other university policies, federal law, and professional ethics; in general, professionals working in these areas will not release student information except in emergency situations.

Due to issues of confidentiality as prescribed by FERPA, APU will not contact you about your student’s grades or academic performance. This information is made available only to students, their academic advisors, and other school officials who have a legitimate educational interest to know such information. We suggest that parents, spouses, or other interested parties ask the student directly for information about his/her academic performance. Medical, academic, and disciplinary information cannot be provided without the student’s written permission. In the case of an extreme emergency where the student’s health is in serious jeopardy, or if there is a concern that the student poses a threat to themself or to someone else, the university will make contact with the student’s emergency contact. As a general guideline, if the student is able to communicate about the situation, it is up to the student to decide whether and how to discuss the issues.

In order to release information to parents or other third parties, students must give their authorization. They can do so by logging in to their account, clicking on My Information in the lefthand menu, then clicking on FERPA Authorization and following the on-screen instructions to authorize specific individuals to receive information and indicate the kind of information that can be shared.

Questions related to undergraduate and graduate students may be directed to the Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020 or [email protected]. You may also visit

FERPA for Students 

Important Forms

Request to Inspect and Review Educational Records (PDF)
Student Record Release Authorization (PDF)
Request to Restrict Directory Information (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

APU’s FERPA policy is in place to protect your records and to prevent inappropriate disclosure.

For your protection, services over the telephone and email may be limited if the university representative you are calling or emailing does not know you or is not confident of your identity.

Your directory information may be released per university policy and FERPA regulations, unless you take specific steps to prevent the release of your information. Also, you can grant permission for APU to share information from your educational records with specific people you identify. For more information, see the Privacy of Education Records Policy (PDF).

Refer to how APU defines directory information. To restrict release of directory information, fill out the Request to Restrict Directory Information (PDF) form.

Note: It is important to remember that your decision remains in effect until you request in writing to change it.

Important note to discuss with your parents/family: Once you have moved into postsecondary education, regardless of your age, all rights belong to you. To avoid any misunderstandings, you are strongly encouraged to discuss this with your family before beginning classes.

To release information protected by FERPA, you may go into your Student Center at and click on Privacy Settings, where you may notify APU of whom we can speak with and about what topics.

If you restrict the release of directory information, after you graduate, APU could not confirm for a potential employer that you have completed your degree, without your advance written consent. Following your wish for full nondisclosure, APU could not even confirm that you had ever been a student.
It is important that we use the same definition of “emergency.” If your brother forgot to make a deposit into your checking account and needs to find you right away, that is not an emergency. However, if there is a fire or other safety situation, appropriate officials may be given your contact information.

Yes, you have choices, and it is important that you carefully consider your decision:

  • By taking no action, you are choosing to authorize release of all your directory information from APU.
  • By filling out the appropriate form, you can determine which aspects of directory information you would like to release.
No, FERPA applies to education records. Categories of education records areas include academic, financial, residential life, activities, disciplinary, etc.
You are encouraged to discuss the matter with the individual or office responsible for the alleged violation. If that is not possible or is not comfortable for you, please contact your registrar’s office and ask for assistance.
Contact your registrar’s office. Questions related to undergraduate and graduate students may be directed to the Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020 or [email protected]. You may also visit

Student Privacy Rights

The Right to Inspect

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 a Request to Inspect and Review Educational Records (PDF) form to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official. The form must identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student 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 Amend

The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights.

Students may ask the university to amend such records. 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, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights. 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.

The Right to Consent

The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.

A “school official” is (1) a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); (2) a person serving on the Board of Trustees; (3) 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; or (4) a person employed by or under contract to the university to perform an assigned task on behalf of the university.

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 whenever he or she is (1) performing a task that is specified in his or her job description or contract agreement; (2) performing a task related to a student’s education; (3) performing a task related to the discipline of a student; (4) providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family (such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid); or (5) disclosing information in response to a judicial order or legally issued subpoena. Another exception is that the university can disclose education records without consent to officials of another school at which a student seeks enrollment or intends to enroll, upon request of officials of that other school.

The Right to File a Complaint

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university 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

FERPA for Faculty and Staff

Maintaining the confidentiality of our students’ personal information is of the utmost importance to our university. Faculty and staff are an integral part of our success in meeting this obligation. For that reason, APU offers the following resources to provide you with the information necessary to protect our students:

Direct any questions about the FERPA policy to the Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020 or [email protected].

Note: This information is current for the 2024-25 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.