Legitimate Educational Interests

A faculty or staff member has a legitimate educational interest in accessing or reviewing a student’s educational records, if the faculty or staff member is:

  • Performing a task that is specified in his/her position description or contract;
  • Performing a task related to a student’s education or to student discipline;
  • Providing a service or benefit related to the student or student’s family; or
  • Maintaining safety and security on campus.

An example of a legitimate educational interest would include an academic advisor who needs to review a student’s education record to determine what courses have been and/or need to be completed.  This is a task related to advising the student.  The advisor would not be authorized to view education records that are not relevant to the task at hand.

Education records cannot be released to someone other than the faculty member or the school official (for example, an academic advisor) who has a legitimate educational interest unless the student has given written permission for the additional disclosure, or if a legitimate interest has been articulated for disclosure to the other party.

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FERPA | Major Concepts in FERPA | Who is a Student | What is an Education Record? | Exceptions | FERPA Recognized Exceptions |
Legitimate Educational Interests
| Records not Protected by FERPA | General Rule: | Disclosure of Education Records |
Releasing Records
| Who is a School Official | Confidential Records | "Keeper" of the Record | Parent Access to Student Record | Important Note | Email and Computer Guidelines | Summary | Warnings Against Non-Compliance | Additional Resources |
  • Last update on  May 09, 2013