University Registrar


The Ohio State University's Policy Concerning

Privacy and Release of Student Education Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, sets forth requirements designed to protect the privacy of student educational records. The law governs access to records maintained by educational institutions and the release of information from those records.

A notice is published quarterly in the Master Schedule of Classes to explain the rights of students with respect to records maintained by the University. It also outlines the University's procedures to comply with the requirements of the Act.

Copies of the Act, the Federal Regulations adopted pursuant to it, and this notice are available for persons to examine in the Office of the University Registrar, 281 W. Lane Ave., Columbus, OH 43210-1230.

1. Definition of Education Record

The meaning of "education records" is, with certain exemptions as listed below, those records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student, and are maintained by any employee or agent of the University. The following categories of information are exempted and are not considered to be "education records:"

a. Records made by University personnel which are in the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any other person.

b. Records maintained by the Office of Public Safety for law enforcement purposes.

c. Medical and counseling records used solely for treatment. (Medical records may be personally reviewed by a physician of the student's choice.)

d. Records only related to a former student (alumni records). Records of that individual while a student continue to be considered education records.

Note: All records pertaining to students which are maintained by University offices are official University records, and as such, remain the property of the University.

Each University unit has an obligation to keep a record of requests and disclosures of student record information except when the request is from the student, a University official with a legitimate educational interest, someone requesting directory information, or related to a request with consent from the student. Students have the right to review this record of requests and disclosures of student record information.

2. Right to Inspect and Review

Students are granted the right to inspect and review all of their education records, except the following:

a. Financial records of parents.

b. Confidential letters and statements of recommendations placed in education records prior to January 1, 1975.

c. Confidential letters and statements of recommendations for admission, employment, or honorary recognition placed in education records after January 1, 1975, for which students have waived their right of access.

3. Waiver of Rights of Access

Students may waive their right of access to confidential letters and statements of recommendation. Even if the student signs a waiver, upon request, the names of all persons making confidential recom-mendations will be made available. Employees or agents of the University may not require a student to waive his or her right of access for receipt of University benefits or services.

4. Procedures for Inspection and Review

Requests to review records must be made separately, in writing, to each office maintaining records. That office has 45 days to respond to requests to review and inspect. However, arrangements will be made as expeditiously as possible.

Information contained in education records will be fully explained and interpreted to students by University personnel assigned to, and designated by, the appropriate office.

Students have the right to review only their own records. When a record contains information about more than one student, disclosure cannot include information regarding the other student(s).

5. Right to Challenge Information in Records

Students have the right to challenge the content of their education records if they consider the information contained therein to be inaccurate, misleading, or inappropriate.

This process includes an opportunity for amendment of the records or insertion of written explanations by the student into such records.

Note: The right to challenge grades does not apply under the Act unless the grade assigned was inaccurately recorded, under which condition the record will be corrected.

6. Procedures for Hearings to Challenge Records

Students challenging information in their records must submit, in writing, a request for a hearing to the appropriate office maintaining the record, listing the specific information in question and the reasons for the challenge.

Hearings will be conducted by a University official who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing.

Students shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the reasons for the challenge, as referenced in item 5.

The hearing officer will render a decision, in writing, noting the reason and summarizing all evidence presented within a reasonable period of time after the challenge is filed.

Should the hearing be in favor of the student, the record shall be amended accordingly. Should the request be denied, an appeal may be made, in writing, and submitted to the University Registrar within 10 days of the student's notification of the decision of the hearing officer. The appeal shall be heard by an Appeals Board of three disinterested senior University officials and a decision rendered, in writing, within a reasonable period of time.

Should the appeal be in favor of the student, the record shall be amended accordingly. Should the request be denied, the student may choose to place a statement with the record commenting on the accuracy of the information in the record and/or setting forth any basis for inaccuracy. When disclosed to an authorized party, the record will always include the student's statement and notice of the Board's decision, as long as the student's record is maintained by the University.

7. Consent for Release Required

Consent must be obtained from students for the release of information from education records, specifying what is to be released, the reasons for release, and to whom, with a copy of the record sent to the student if he or she desires.

8. Release Without Consent

The requirement for consent does not apply to the following:

a. Requests from faculty and staff of The Ohio State University who have a legitimate education interest on a "need to know" basis, including student employees or agents of the institution, if necessary to conduct official business, as authorized by the University Registrar. Legitimate educational interest includes performing a task related to the regular duties of the employee or agent, the student's education, the discipline of a student, a service or benefit for the student, or maintaining safety and security of the campus.

b. Requests in compliance with a lawful subpoena or judicial order.

c. Requests in connection with a student's application for or receipt of financial aid.

d. Requests by State authorities and agencies specifically exempted from the prior consent requirements by the Act--organizations conducting studies on behalf of the University, if such studies do not permit the personal identification of students to any persons other than to representatives of such organizations and if the personal identification data is destroyed when no longer needed.

e. Information submitted to accrediting organizations.

f. Requests by parents of a dependent student, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

g. In the case of emergencies, the University may release information from education records to appropriate persons in connection with an emergency, if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons.

h. To authorized federal officials who have need to audit and evaluate federally-supported programs.

i. The results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the University against an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence to the alleged victim of that crime.

j. Requests for "directory information" (see item 9).

Note: The University reserves the right to verify the accuracy of any information contained in what purports to be an official University document (e.g. a transcript or diploma) or is provided to a third party. In addition, degrees (any honors, majors, minors and specializations) are considered public information since they are conferred in a public ceremony.

9. Directory Information

The Ohio State University, in accordance with the Act, has designated the following information about students as public (directory) information:

a. Name

b. Permanent Address (does not include home/local, physical, or dorm addressl)

c. Home Telephone (does not include dorm or cell phone)

d. Program of Study (including college of enrollment, major and campus)

e. Enrollment status (e.g. full-time, part-time, withdrawn)

f. Dates of attendance

g. Honors awarded

h. Previous educational agencies or institutions attended

i. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports

j. Weight and height of members of intercollegiate athletic teams

Students have the right to have this directory information withheld from the public if they so desire. Each student who wants all directory information to be withheld (including items to be published in the Student Directory) shall so indicate by completing a Change of Information Form which can be obtained from the Office of the University Registrar or any college/ extended campus office. At least 10 days should be allowed for processing of these requests.

The University receives many inquiries for "directory information" from a variety of sources, including friends, parents, relatives, prospective employers, other institutions of higher education, honor societies, licensing agencies, government agencies, and the news media. Each student is advised to carefully consider the consequences of a decision to withhold "directory information." The University, in all good faith, will not release directory information requested to be withheld, and any requests from persons or organizations outside the University will be refused unless the student provides written consent for the release.

10. Complaints, Concerns or Suggestions

Any student who has reason to believe that the University is not complying with the Act or this policy should inform the University Registrar in writing. The University Registrar shall promptly review all such allegations. The University's governance group overseeing this policy is the Council on Enrollment and Student Progress.

11. Type, Location, and Custodian of Student Records

The Ohio State University does not maintain education records in one central office. Education records are maintained in the respective colleges and schools (including their placement offices), the Graduate School and Graduate departments, each extended campus office (for extended campus students), and the Office of the University Registrar. Other education records are maintained in the Office of Admissions (for enrolled and former students -- applicants are excluded), Office of Student Affairs (disciplinary records), Office of Student Financial Aid (financial and related information, student employment), Athletic Department (intercollegiate sports), Office of International Education, Office of Academic Affairs (academic misconduct) and other offices. Questions regarding individual student records should be directed to the appropriate location:




Academic Affairs

203 Bricker Hall

Vice Provost


110 Enarson Hall


Agricultural Technical Inst.

Academic Affairs

Assistant Director

Air Force Aerospace Studies

353 Converse Hall


Allied Medical Professions

106 Allied Med. Prof.


Alumni Information Center

Longaberger Alumni House



Knowlton School of Architecture

School Secretary


152 Hopkins Hall

Associate Dean

Arts and Sciences

164 Denney Hall

Assistant Dean

A&S Advising & Academic Services

Denney Hall



St. John Arena

Assistant Director

Buckeye Link

1st Floor Student Academic Services Building



201 Fisher Hall



2nd Floor SAS Building

Assistant Treasurer

Continuing Education

152 Mount Hall

Associate Director

Counseling & Consul. Services

4th Floor Yonkin Success Center


Dental Hygiene

3070 Postle Hall

Assistant Director


1159 Postle Hall

Associate Dean

Disability Services

150 Pomerene Hall



127 Arps Hall


Edu. Policy & Leadership

22 Ramseyer Hall


Edu. Phys. Act. & Edu. Svs.

215 Pomerene Hall


Edu. Teaching & Learning

227 Arps Hall



122 Hitchcock Hall

Associate Dean

Financial Aid

1st Floor Student Academic Services Bldg.


Food, Agriculture & Env. Sci.

100 Ag. Admin. Bldg.


Graduate School

247 University Hall

Assistant Dean

Health Services

Wilce Health Center


Honors Office

Honors House


Human Ecology

201 Campbell Hall


ID Card Services

3040 Ohio Union


International Education

322 Oxley Hall



112 Drinko Hall

Associate Dean


Main Library


Lima Campus

Galvin Hall

Associate Dean

Mansfield Campus

Ovalwood Hall

Assistant Dean

Marion Campus

Morrill Hall

Associate Dean


209 Meiling Hall


Military Science

253 Converse Hall


Minority Affairs

102 Bricker Hall

Dir. of Recruitment


110 Weigel Hall


Natural Resources

210 Kottman Hall


Naval Science

110 Converse Hall


Newark Campus

Founders Hall

Associate Dean


240 Newton Hall



A424 Optom. Bldg.

Assistant Dean


110 Enarson Hall

Assistant Dean


217 Parks Hall


Placement Offices

College Offices


Public Health

M116 Starling-Loving


Public Policy & Management

300 Fisher Hall


Registrar's Office

1st Floor Student Academic Services Bldg.


Residence & Dining Halls

350 Morrill Tower


Social Work

106 Stillman Hall


Student Activities

344 Ohio Union


Student Advocacy Center

1120 Lincoln Tower


Student Conduct

550 Lincoln Tower


Student Loan Services

1st Floor Student Academic Services Bldg.

Assistant Treasurer

Transportation & Parking

160 Bevis Hall


Veterinary Medicine

0004 Vet. Hospital

Assistant Dean