Confidentiality of Your Records
Student record information is confidential and private. In accordance with both federal law (FERPA) and University policy (policy AD11), Penn State does not release student record information without prior written consent of the student. The one exception is that the University may release “directory information” items without prior student consent.
What is Directory Information?
Directory information is information whose disclosure would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy. Designated directory information at Penn State includes the following:
- Address (local, permanent residence, and electronic mail)
- Telephone number
- Class level (semester, class, or level: first-year, sophomore, junior, etc.)
- Student activities
- Weight/height (athletic teams)
- Date(s) of attendance
- Enrollment status (full-time, part-time, or not enrolled)
- Date of graduation
- Degrees and awards received and where received
- Most recent educational institution attended
Can I Withhold Directory Information?
Yes, you can request that directory information not be released publicly. This is an important privilege that results in the following:
- Your name/address is excluded from the Penn State Web Directory and printed telephone directories. Requests to withhold will not alter previously published directories.
- Your name will not appear in the commencement program.
- Verification of enrollment, graduation, or degrees awarded will not be provided to third parties, including potential employers.
- No information will be released to any person via telephone or email.
- Address changes must be made only by you. You can change your address via the Account Management portal at accounts.psu.edu, in person at any Penn State campus registrar's office, or by mailing a written request, along with a copy of photo identification, to any Penn State campus registrar’s office.
Please note: requesting confidentiality may have some undesirable side effects. For example, if a prospective employer were to contact the Registrar's Office to verify your status, the employer could not receive confirmation that you were attending Penn State. Likewise, if you were to apply for a credit card with a company that wanted to verify that you are a Penn State student, the Registrar's Office again could not confirm the information.
To Withhold Directory Information, You Must:
- complete and sign the Request to Withhold Directory Information form.
- present or mail this signed form, along with a copy of photo identification, to any Penn State campus registrar's office.
If you provide an email address on the form, you will receive an official notification when the withholding of directory information is in effect. Requests to withhold directory information remain in effect until removed, in writing, by you.
How Do I Release Directory Information?
- Complete and sign the Request to Release Directory Information form.
- Present or mail this signed form, along with a copy of photo identification, to any Penn State campus registrar's office.
If you provide an email address on the form, you will receive an official notification when directory information will be released.
How Do I Update Directory Information?
You can change your address and other personal information via the Account Management portal at accounts.psu.edu.
If you're a Penn State faculty or staff member, you need to work with your Office of Human Resources representative to update your phone number and address. You can change other online directory information on the ITS secure server.