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StudentTracker for High Schools Q&A: What about FERPA?

by NSC Blog | Sep 18, 2017 | FAQs, K-12, Research Services, StudentTracker for High Schools |

Q: How does FERPA affect StudentTracker for High Schools? Is our school able to send our data to the Clearinghouse, or do we need to get parental consent first?

A: Good news. There is no need to get student or parental consent before sending your school’s data in to the National Student Clearinghouse. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) specifies particular exceptions that cover the StudentTracker for High Schools service.

Protecting student data

The Clearinghouse understands how crucial it is to safeguard student data. The StudentTracker for High Schools team is delighted that we get FERPA-related questions so frequently. It shows that high schools and school districts are committed to maintaining student data privacy and security.

We have developed the StudentTracker for High Schools with FERPA in mind. In fact, the Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker for High Schools service was the first recipient of iKeepSafe’s FERPA badge, representing an independent, third-party validation of our commitment to digital privacy for student data. It has since been awarded iKeepSafe’s California Student Privacy Badge, the first independent assessment program specifically tailored to emerging student data privacy legislation, including the Student Online Personal Information Protection Act (SOPIPA).

Our FERPA compliance

Acting on behalf of your school or school district and acting as your authorized agent, the Clearinghouse, through our StudentTracker for High School service, matches your school’s data with the enrollment records of our over 3,600 participating colleges and universities across the country.

FERPA also provides an exception that allows schools to conduct research that will help improve the way they serve their students. The information schools transmit for StudentTracker for High Schools meets this exception requirement. As a result, no consent is necessary for this use of student information.

The Clearinghouse returns or deletes all data as soon as your contract with us ends, and we don’t conduct any data mining or commercialization of your students’ data. We do just as you would do – we match each student with his or her postsecondary enrollment records.

With this data, your school has a powerful tool in evaluating college attendance, persistence, and graduation rates.

Learn more about StudentTracker for High Schools and how you can use it to improve your research efforts while maintaining compliance with FERPA.

Visit the Clearinghouse Academy to access our StudentTracker for High Schools on-demand webinars, tutorials, and more.


The Clearinghouse is the first recipient of ikeepsafe.org’s FERPA badge, which was awarded to its StudentTracker for High Schools service. StudentTracker for High Schools has also received iKeepSafe’s California Student Privacy Badge.

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