University Operating Data - Protected Student Data

Issue/Question

  • What is considered protected student data under FERPA?
  • What kind of FERPA data can I access?
  • What is FERPA?
  • Where can I learn more about FERPA?
  • What is the rule of 10? Why are security codes associated with N>10?
  • When will my FERPA training appear in CORE?
  • How can I use data from the FAFSA form?

Environment

  • Oregon State University
  • CORE

Background

Student data is protected by two federal laws:

  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects personally identifiable student data and records. This includes most student data (grades, academic standing, etc.). Students' rights under FERPA begin when they registered for START, an orientation or classes, whichever happens first.
  • The High Education Act (HEA) protects the personally identifiable data that students provide on their FAFSA forms for awarding financial aid. This includes data derived from students' answers on the FAFSA form such as Pell Eligibility and financial need level.

University data systems (CORE, Tableau, Banner, Canvas, etc.) contain a wide range of FERPA-protected and HEA-protected data. Individuals accessing and using student data must comply with FERPA, HEA and university policies set by the Office of the Registrar.

For more information on FERPA, see the Office of the Registrar's FERPA page (https://registrar.oregonstate.edu/FERPA) or contact the Office of the Registrar at registrars@oregonstate.edu.

For more information on HEA, contact the OSU Financial Aid Office (financial.aid@oregonstate.edu).

Resolution

How do I get access to FERPA-protected data?

People in positions that require access to FERPA-protected student data (advisers, analysts, etc.) are automatically granted access to this data in CORE. People in positions that do not get automatic access to FERPA-protected data may still have a legitimate need to see the data to do their jobs and can apply for a CORE override

Before you can access FERPA-protected data, you must complete the FERPA training at https://registrar.oregonstate.edu/ferpa-training-module. Until you complete this training you will not see FERPA-protected data in CORE.

Note: The data provided by students on the FAFSA form is a sub-set of the FERPA-protected data that has additional protections under the Higher Education Act (HEA). As a result, people with access to FERPA-protected data may not have access to HEA-protected data from the FAFSA form. See the section on "How can I use data from the FAFSA form?" for more details.

How long will it take for my FERPA training to appear in CORE?

Allow 2-4 business days after completing your training for it to be logged and your access to FERPA-protected data in CORE to take effect.

How can I use FERPA-protected data?

You, or a person you share FERPA data with, must have a legitimate need to fulfill your job duties when accessing and using FERPA-protected data. For example, if you are teaching a class, you have a need to see who is in the class. You probably do not need to see other classes your students are taking though. Looking up FERPA-protected data for personal purposes (How is my nephew doing at OSU?) or out of curiosity (What was my lab assistant's undergraduate GPA?) is against the law.

Note: Sharing aggregated student data is usually not in violation of FERPA. For data to be considered aggregated, each data point must include 10 or more members (N>=10).

If you have questions about sharing FERPA-protected data, contact the Data Reference Desk (DRD) and they can help facilitate a conversation with the student data steward on your planned use. You can also find more details on sharing OSU operational data at https://oregonstate.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/1935/Portal/KB/ArticleDet?ID=134498.

How can I use data from the FAFSA form?

FAFSA data is protected by both FERPA and the HEA (Higher Education Act). Under the HEA, universities can only use FAFSA data for the application, awarding and administration of aid. An exception to this is aggregated data that does not show FAFSA data by individual. If you are interested in aggregated FAFSA data submit the data request form on the Office of the Registrar's website (https://registrar.oregonstate.edu/data-requests) or contact the OSU Financial Aid Office (financial.aid@oregonstate.edu).

Assistance

For assistance, contact the Data Reference Desk (DRD).

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Details

Article ID: 137527
Created
Fri 4/15/22 1:52 PM
Modified
Tue 12/6/22 11:57 AM