Student Data Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I serve as a faculty advisor for a club/organization/honor society and we do frequent recruitment. Can I have my requested data on a regular (quarterly, semi-annual, et. al.) basis?

If you have a recurring data request, we advise you to work with the CORE team in developing a CORE report. You may find more information on working with the CORE team here.

Can I get student level FAFSA data from the Financial Aid office?

Student level FAFSA data can only be shared in very limited circumstances. Section 483(a)(3)(E) of the HEA restricts the use of the FAFSA/ISIR data to the application, award, and administration of aid awarded under federal student aid programs, state aid, or aid awarded by eligible institutions. It is also permissible to share de-identified, aggregate, descriptive statistics about program participants. For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

What data can I access without student consent?

The answer to this question depends on a few key factors: (1) Do you need this data to be able to fulfill your professional responsibility? and (2) What are you planning to do with this data? A legitimate educational interest establishes that someone cannot complete their professional tasks without access to the information. The question of research often arises for folks who are hired as faculty and research constitutes some portion of their professional duties. The section of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) states that prior consent is not required when conducting studies for or on behalf of an institution. The interpretation is that this is to produce information for the improvement of services at an institution, not to produce generalizable knowledge for distribution beyond the institution. Consent is required for the use of any personally identifiable information that will not remain internal to those who have a legitimate educational interest.

What do I need to think about when releasing data?

We developed guidelines for releasing student information and you may find them here.

Can I use Qualtrics to obtain student consent?

With electronic consent, the Code of Federal Regulations (§99.30) states that consent may include an electronic form that "(1) Identifies and authenticates a particular person as the source of the electronic consent; and (2) Indicates such person's approval of the information contained in the electronic consent." In order to use Qualtrics to obtain consent, one must ensure that there is an authentication process to verify the student's identity. Simply sending an email to a student's OSU email address is not enough; one must ensure that the link to the Qualtrics survey/consent form can only be accessed by the intended recipient (e.g. that the email with the link cannot be forwarded to another email address that can access/enter information). Qualtrics provides information on how to enable SSO authenticators for this type of use of the tool.

 

These FAQs will be updated as needed. Do you have a question you would like to see addressed here? Email allyson.dean-at-oregonstate.edu.

Updated 28 July 2020