FERPA

Release of Education Records for Students

With certain exceptions, Southern Methodist University may not release any personally identifiable information from a student’s education records to any third party (including parents) without written consent from the student. However, students may grant access to their education records to parents and others through the “Release of Education Records” feature in Access.SMU. At SMU, a student may choose to release all of their education records, restrict access to specified areas, or a student can specifically deny access to a third-party.

Release of Education Records Instructions

Grant parents or others Authorized Access to view or receive some or all of your information

You may control access to your education records through Student Self-Service within Access.SMU.  After you login to Access.SMU, you will find the “Release of Education Records” link within Student Self-Service, just beneath the "Student Center" link. Release of Education Records has the following tabs:

This page lists individuals whom you have granted or denied access to your education records. The areas of access currently granted to each person are also listed. Initially this list will be empty. This is a summary page so no actions will be generated from this page.

This page lists your defined relations who are eligible for you to grant access, and allows you to request the creation of a new relationship. Any relation whom you have already granted or denied access will not be listed on this page.

Within Access.SMU you may have several persons defined as “relations” to you. Only these defined relationships will appear on the "Add Access" tab. It is from this page that you may (1) Grant/Deny access to a relation, (2) Provide an email for an existing relation, (3) Request a new relation to be created, or(4) Confirm your selections.

1) Grant/Deny Access to a relation:

You may wish to grant your relation one or more areas of access or you may wish to deny your relation any access to your educations records. Make sure you first select a relation by checking the box next to them. If they don't have an email address on record (see Add Email below), then you will be allowed to select one of more of the areas listed below to your student education records to grant to this relation.
 

Areas of Access:  Below is a detailed explanation of the different areas of access:

Selecting Do Not Release for a relation will remove that relation's access to your data in Access.SMU, and will preclude that relation from discussing your education record with any Southern Methodist University staff, faculty, or business office, as stated by FERPA.

Granting access to your Financial Aid data will allow that relation to:

  1. View financial aid awarded and accepted within Access.SMU,
  2.   Discuss your financial aid situation with SMU Officials.

Granting access to your Holds data will allow that relation to:

  1. View all holds applied to you within Access.SMU,
  2. Discuss your Holds, including why the Hold was placed and how to remove it, with the administering Southern Methodist University business office.

Granting access to All Disciplinary Records allows that relation to:

  1. Discuss all of your Disciplinary Records/Information with the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office.
  2. You may choose to grant partial access to your Disciplinary Records, by not selecting the All Disciplinary check box but instead by submitting a form to the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office in Hughes Trigg Student Center room 302.

Granting access to your Student Financials data will allow that relation to:

  1. View your account balances and Campus Essentials selections within Access.SMU.
  2. Discuss your account balances and Campus Essentials with SMU Officials.

Granting access to your Academic Records data will allow that relation to:

  1. View your class enrollments, grades, and unofficial transcript within Access.SMU.
  2. Discuss your Academic Records (including class enrollments, grades, degree progress, class performance, and academic advising) with SMU faculty, staff, and academic advisors.

2) Add Email

For you to be able to grant access to a relation, that person must have a valid email address on record within Access.SMU. However, if you are denying access, then an email is not required. If the existing relation doesn’t have an email address:

  1. Check the box next to the relation’s name
  2. The “Add Email” link will become active for that person
  3. Click that link, select an email type, enter the email address, and click "Submit.

You may now grant access to this relation. This email must be valid because it will be used to communicate further instructions to your relation to authenticate their new Access.SMU account.

If a relation has an email address listed but it is no longer active or it's incorrect , then that relation must correct it themselves. Please direct them to this website to update their information:

www.smu.edu/giving/address_updates.asp

3) Create New Relationship

You may wish to grant access to a relation that has not been defined within Access.SMU. Click on the button “Create New Relationship” to provide personal & biographical information on this relation. Many of the fields are required and valid information must be entered. Two fields that are optional are the relation’s Social Security Number and date of birth. Any information you can provide increases the accuracy of identity verification and helps us protect the privacy of your education records.

SMU protects this confidential data, and you are encouraged to provide both if possible. When complete, click the “Finish Creating” button.

Research must be performed to ensure a duplicate record is not being created within Access.SMU. Once your requested relationship has been defined within Access.SMU, you will receive email notification. Turnaround time is up to 5 business days. After this new relation has been created, it will appear under the "Add Access" tab.

4) Confirmation

If you chose to grant access to your relation, then you must complete the confirmation page.

Read the release statement, click the “I Agree” checkbox, and submit the request to create access for your relation. If your relation does not already have an Access.SMU account, then you will be provided a PIN number after the Confirmation page. Please write down this PIN number and give it to your relation. Any active PIN Numbers will be displayed next to the relation on the "Authorized Access" tab. Your relation will need to enter this PIN number along with their SMU ID in order to activate their account, at which time they will select their own password and will no longer use this PIN. Email notifications will be sent to you and your relation. This relation will now appear in your Authorized Access tab.

If you chose to deny access to your relation, then you will still have to complete the confirmation page. Read the release statement, click the “I Agree” checkbox, and submit the request to deny access for your relation. No PIN number will be generated. Email notification will only be sent to you. This relation will now appear in your Authorized Access tab.

This page lists those whom you have granted or denied access to and allows you to edit that access. To change a relation’s areas of access you will need to:

  1. Select a relation from the list, by checking the box next to the relation’s name.
  2. Assign, add, or remove areas of access.
  3. Click Submit.
  4. Complete the confirmation page again by reading the release statement, and clicking the “I Agree” checkbox.
  5. Submit the request to edit access for your relation.
  6. Notification emails will be sent to you and your relation detailing the change of access that was submitted.
    PLEASE NOTE: If you chose to remove access from a relation, that relation will receive an email that his/her access have been removed.

For an explanation of areas of access, click here.

This page lists access that is eligible for you to “reset.” You may choose to reset a relation's account if your relation is having account problems, password issues, locked accounts or any other problems using their account.

Resetting an account results in the deletion of the current account, creation of a new account, including a new PIN number that will need to be given to the relation again for him/her to authenticate the new account.

You may only reset access for accounts that exist for no other reason. If your relation is an employee, a student, or has been granted access to another student’s education records, then you will not be allowed to reset their account. In that case, the relation has to contact the Help Desk for any account problems.

To reset an account:

  1. Select a relation from the list and click “Submit.”
  2. Confirm that you want to reset the account.
  3. Write down the new PIN number generated and give it to your relation. Your relation will need to enter this new PIN number (along with same Relation ID) in order to activate their new account, at which time they will select their own password and will no longer use this PIN.
  4. Click "Done."

How do I get the PIN number needed by my relation so that they may activate their account?

Any active PIN Numbers are listed next to relations' names on the "Authorized Access" tab. “N/A” indicates a PIN number has been used, or is not needed by the relation. You may also "Reset Access" to generate a new PIN Number.

What if the person for whom I want to grant access is not listed?

This person may be listed on the "Edit Access" tab if you've already granted/denied access to him/her, or you may need to click the "Create a New Relationship" button if it doesn't exist in Access.SMU.

What if a relation for whom I want to grant access does not have an email address listed?

You will need to provide a valid email address for a relation that you wish to grant access to. You can add an email by checking the box next to the relation's name under the "Add Access tab" and clicking the "Add Email" link.  An email is not required when you chose to deny a relation access to your education records

What if a relation for whom I want to grant access does not have an email address or is not comfortable using computers or the web?

You will still have to grant that relation authorized access through Access.SMU. If you want to grant access to someone who does not have an email address, then you may enter your own email address as that relation’s email. Afterwards, your relation can visit in person with SMU staff regarding any of the areas that have been granted to them.

On the Create Access page, after selecting a relation, I am unable to assign areas of access?

A relation must have an email address for areas of access to be granted. Make sure you add an email to that relation (it could be your email address if the relation doesn’t have one) and then you should able to assign areas of access.

What if the person for whom I want to reset their account is not listed on the "Reset Access" tab?

You cannot reset access for someone who already has an Access.SMU account. For example, relations who are SMU staff, faculty or students or relations that have been granted access by multiple students already have SMU accounts. If the relation’s account is locked, they have forgotten the password, or for any other account issues, the relation will need to contact the SMU Help desk to resolve them at help@smu.edu or 214-768-4357 (8-HELP).

Suppose my relation has an email listed that is not correct?

Your relations may update their own contact information via the following web page:
www.smu.edu/giving/address_updates.asp

Suppose my relation does not know his/her ID number?

Under the "Add Access" and "Reset Access" tabs, your relation should have received an email that lists his/her ID number. Also, you can see his/her ID number under the "Authorized Access" tab in Access.SMU.

If I deny access to my relations, will they be notified of that?

Unless access have been previously granted to that relation and then taken away, the relation will not be notified that his/her  access to your education records has been denied. Only you will receive an email notification of your selection of "Do Not Release" to that relation.


If you still have questions, please forward them to Enrollment Services at enrol_serv@smu.edu or call 214-768-3417or 800-323-0672.