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Access to discuss student education records.


Passphrase is a new verification system designed to verify the identity of individuals requesting information from student education records. No information from student education records may be disclosed without consent of the student or an applicable exemption under the student records privacy policy. Established Release Types include: Academic Release, Financial Release, Conduct/Honor Release.


Over the last several months, William & Mary has reviewed university business practices in relation to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  One identified area of vulnerability is the releasing of information over the telephone to an unauthorized caller.  In order to comply with the student records privacy policy and to protect our students, William & Mary is implementing a new passphrase procedure.


Students are able to view their Passphrase on their personal information questionnaire. They are also able to deploy a passphrase to parent/guardian/spouse.


Beginning on February 18, 2019, all departments authorized to release education record data will ask callers for their unique passphrase. Even if your student has already granted you the FERPA release(s), you will need a passphrase to talk with university offices over the phone.

Parents and Family: Make sure your student has given you a unique code-word via email so that the Dean of Students office can verify it's you over the phone and get information to you quickly. Even if your student has already granted you the FERPA release, you will need a code-word to talk with the university offices over the phone.