The Catholic University of America

When is written and signed consent required?

  • Written and signed consent is required in order to disclose personally identifiable information from the student’s education record.
  • This includes releasing information to parents and spouses.

When is it not?

  • You may release information from a student’s education record without consent to a school official with a legitimate educational interest.
    • A school official is:
      • a person employed by the university
      • a person elected to the board of trustees
      • a person or entity under contract to the university
      • a student serving on an official committee
    • Legitimate educational interest is:
      • a demonstrated “need to know” in order to perform assigned job duties
  • Curiosity is not a legitimate educational interest. Never look up a student’s record just because you are curious about them.
  • University title or position does not necessarily grant legitimate educational interest. This includes a high ranking faculty or university member requesting information. It is OK to further question the request. If you are still uncertain, forward the request to your immediate supervisor. Intimidation should not stop you from following university policy. If you are uncertain, it is better not to release information until you are able to consult with your supervisor.
  • If you receive a subpoena, contact General Counsel who will provide guidance on how to proceed.


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