Teaching and FERPA

The 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) governs the way in which colleges maintain and supervise students' educational records.

Bowdoin students' rights under FERPA are outlined in the student handbook. Faculty should also abide by FERPA when handling student grades. Since students may access their grades in Polaris, there should be no need to post grades in a public place. Please contact the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs if you have questions about FERPA.

According to FERPA, faculty should not:

  • Post grades by student name or by the Bowdoin student ID number;
  • Allow grades to be visible if you leave tests or papers in a box for students to pick up;
  • Cite specific grades in a letter of recommendation or other communications without a student's permission to do so.