Student Grades, Privacy, and Federal Law

Posted on Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Per the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA, faculty may not post grades in a manner that enables anyone - other than the student - to know his or her grade. Additionally, faculty may not post grades in a manner that allows students to connect their class performance with other individual students in the same class. It is a violation of federal law to post grades in a non-secure or non-confidential manner (e.g., on office doors, in a hallway, or by any website that is not the university student information system or eLearning), and, in particular, by any of the following methods:

  • By student name
  • By student UNI ID (or any portion of UNI ID)
  • By student social security number (or any portion of SSN)

Please note that if you have sought consent from students to post grades in any of the aforementioned ways, it is still considered a violation of federal law.

If an instructor wants to post grades in any public way, he or she should use a code known only to the instructor and each individual student. For example, each student could have a random number assigned at the beginning of the term. The alphabetical order of the list must be rearranged so that student cannot be personally identified."

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