It is a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) to publicly post grades by either by the student's name, institutional student identification number, or social security number without first having obtained the student's written permission.
This applies to web sites and grade sheets left with office staff, as well as to the more traditional posting sites as bulletin boards and office doors.
Instructors and others who post grades should use a system that ensures FERPA requirements are met. Recommended methods include the following:
- Obtaining the student's un-coerced written permission;
- Using randomly assigned code words or numbers that only the instructor and the student know, and post in an order that is not alphabetical; and
- Obtain from the student, a self-addressed stamped envelope with which to mail the enclosed grade(s), and related evaluations. Post cards are considered poor form.
When posting grades, FERPA prohibits using any four consecutive digits of the social security number or institutional student identification number as an ID.