Student Confidentiality

It's Your Responsibility

Student information is provided through AccessPlus to assist faculty and advisors in their advising/teaching roles. In order to maintain a student’s right to privacy and to comply with federal law, the university has established policies to govern access to student records. The University ID number is always considered confidential and should never be displayed in its entirety or released.

In addition, all staff must adhere to the following confidentiality policy when using student data from AccessPlus or from any other sources.

As a faculty or staff member, you have a legal responsibility under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) to protect the confidentiality of student educational records in your possession. You have access to student information only for legitimate use in the completion of your responsibilities as a university employee. Need to know is the basic principle. Your access to student information, including directory information, is based on your faculty or staff role within the university. You may not release lists or files with student information to any third party outside your college or departmental unit. Student information that is stored in electronic format (such as the information found on AccessPlus), must be secure and available only to those entitled to access that information.

Please see the Registrar's page on AccessPlus and Confidentiality ( for details. 


Public Information

Some student information is public and can be given out unless the student has requested that no information be released. Please see the Registrar's page on AccessPlus and Confidentiality ( for details.

Confidential Information

All other student information is considered to be confidential. Confidential information regarding advisees is provided to advisors in order to assist them in performing their advisin​g function. This confidential information cannot be used by the advisor for purposes other than advising. 

Again, please see the Registrar's page on AccessPlus and Confidentiality ( for details. 

Parent Requests for Student Information

Confidential information may only be released to parents under these conditions:

  • the student has provided written consent
  • the parent has provided evidence of the student’s IRS dependency status by furnishing a certified copy of the parent’s most recent federal income tax return

If you’re in doubt about a request for student information, contact the Office of the Registrar, 294-1840 or A copy of the Confidentiality Policy is available in the current Courses and Programs Catalog


  • use the University ID number (or any portion of it) of a student in a public posting of grades or any other information.
  • link the name of a student with that student’s University ID number in any public manner.
  • leave graded tests, papers, or other student materials for students to pick up in a stack that requires sorting through the papers of all students.
  • circulate a printed class list with student name and University ID number, photo, or grades as an attendance roster.
  • discuss the progress of any student with anyone other than the student (including parents) without the consent of the student.
  • provide anyone with lists or files of students enrolled in your classes for any commercial purpose.
  • provide anyone with student schedules or assist anyone other than university employees in finding a student on campus.
  • access the records of any student for personal reasons.
  • store confidential student information on any computer unless that information is required and secure from intrusion.

Legal Issues

Many of the legal issues pertaining to student confidentiality are covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). More information can be found at

All Iowa State employees are required to complete the online FERPA training and confidentiality agreement in order to access ISU student academic information systems.  Instructions can be found at

Grade Release Form

If students wish to have their grades sent to their parents or to some other third party, they need to fill out a grade release form:….


Addresses, emails, phone numbers, grade classification, and major can be found in the online phone book.  Students can request that their public information be withheld by going to the Office of the Registrar, 214 Enrollment Services Building. Students can also keep some of their information out of the online directory by changing their preferences in AccessPlus.

Parent’s Advisory Line (PAL)

By calling (800) 772-8546, a parent can address concerns or comments regarding their student’s personal or academic adjustment to Iowa State. The Advisory Line gives general information about policies, procedures, programs, and services and also responds to questions relating to the student's personal and academic situation. More information can be found online.


The faculty handbook is the official statement of Iowa State University policy governing the rights, responsibilities, and performance of faculty.