Student Financial Services
Student Financial Services

SFS RESOURCES: student rights

FERPA Disclosure
Student records are a necessary part of the educational process. At Seattle Pacific University we respect your right to privacy and take seriously our responsibility to safeguard the information you have entrusted to us. We encourage you to read the "Student Records and Confidentiality" section in the Student Handbook (available in the fall) to learn what types of records are kept on students and how you can access your records. You may also obtain a copy of the University's complete policy on student records and confidentiality from Student Academic Services in Demaray Hall 120.

The following overview is meant to provide you with a basic understanding about how the information you provide the University will be treated and how you may authorize others to have access to your student account.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that limits access to the information students provide to the University. Under the Act, access to confidential information is restricted to:

- the student concerned,
- parents of a dependent student (as defined by the IRS),
- University officials who have a legitimate educational interest (e.g., the student's faculty advisor and professors),
- officials of another school at which the student intends to enroll,
- certain authorized government representatives,
- organizations conducting studies on behalf of the University,
- a court of competent legal jurisdiction,
- parties in a health or safety emergency, and
- others, with the student's written consent.

Seattle Pacific University considers a student's Social Security Number, class schedule information, student records, and all financial records as private information that falls under the guidelines above.

FERPA provides that certain information is "directory information" that can be made available to third parties without a student's consent. Directory information consists of:

- name, address, and telephone number,
- email address,
- photo,
- date and place of birth,
- major field of study,
- dates of attendance at SPU,
- course load (part time or full time),
- degrees, awards, and honors received,
- class standing,
- high school attended,
- most recent educational institution attended,
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
       weight and height of athletic team members, and
- church denomination or religious affiliation.

In addition to publishing the SPU Student directory, the University places directory information online to provide information to current students, prospective students, and others interested in Seattle Pacific University. Information considered restricted will not be provided to the public via printed or computer media.

Students have the option of marking their records "Confidential" to restrict access to directory information. The decision to request complete confidentiality should not be made lightly, however, as it carries the following ramifications:

- The University will respond to inquiries about the student as though the student is not known by the University.
- The student may not obtain any information about her or his own records over the telephone. Instead, the student must appear in person with proper identification to make any inquiry.
- The student will not appear in any student publication listing.
- Student-loan agencies will have a difficult time accessing information necessary to carry out their functions.

Once you have registered for classes at SPU, your directory information may be made public. If you believe you need to have your file marked confidential, please contact Student Academic Services in Demaray Hall 120.

Information regarding your account will not be released to anyone other than yourself, unless you grant permission. If you want your financial information released to another individual, such as a parent, you can create and update your Information Access Authorizations in the Banner Information System. Complete the following steps to create authorizations:
  • Provide a name, address, phone number, and email address for each person you are authorizing.
  • Set up three security questions. This is an additional security measure to protect you from unauthorized access.
  • Select specific data items to which that person can have access, such as your academic standing, student account information/statements and financial aid, and housing assignment/meal plan information. These can be modified at any time at your discretion.
  • Share the security questions and answers with each person you authorize! When someone calls in claiming to have access to your records, we will use the security questions to verify their identity.
If you do not grant access to anyone else, you will be the only one to receive an account statement and to get account information over the phone.

More detailed FERPA information.

Last Updated: 10/8/2012