Cal Answers Student Data Terms of Use and Privacy Standards

By accessing Cal Answers, I certify that I agree to abide by the Cal Answers Student Data Terms of Use, as follows:

  • When working with student information from Cal Answers (whether online, files saved to your computer, or printed information), you are required to follow the guidelines established by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the California Information Practices Act (IPA), and the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) to protect restricted student information. You must understand what information is restricted and confidential and what information is unrestricted (public/directory data). See for more information.

  • Access data only for the performance of official job duties and in cases in which you have Legitimate Educational Interest, as defined by FERPA.

  • View and use only information needed to perform assigned and authorized university duties.

  • Never access any institutional information for your own personal gain or profit or the personal gain or profit of others.

  • Cal Answers access was granted to you personally. You may disclose Cal Answers student data or distribute such data to others only in compliance with FERPA and UC Berkeley regulations. You may not share personally identifiable student data with anyone not already authorized to view it (including your supervisor, manager, co-workers, etc.). When in doubt, contact the University Registrar.

  • While disclosing student data is permitted in some cases (as described above), extracting Cal Answers data and posting it on public websites is not allowed without prior approval from the University Registrar if the data could be personally identifiable (for example cell sizes 5 or fewer).

  • Never release any personally identifiable information (PII) of a student designated as a Confidential Student. If you have access to this data, use the “Confidential Student Flg” field to identify and remove such students from your results before sharing PII. Personally identifiable information of other students may be shared only in compliance with FERPA and/or written permission from the student.

  • Sharing data pertaining to small groups, even without personally identifiable information, may in some cases allow individuals within that group to be identified. For example, publishing the GPA (broken down by gender or ethnicity) of students in a course that had only a few enrollments could lead to the identification of an individual who was the only member of a group in that class. A group size ("cell size") of 5 individuals is considered the minimum for the purpose of preventing unintentional disclosure, but in some cases, a larger group may be required. The National Center of Educational Statistics has a brief on the subject.

  • Section 483(a)(3)(E) of the HEA, specifically restricts the use of the FAFSA data, and states in summary that data collected on the FAFSA form shall be used only for the application, award, and administration of aid awarded under federal student aid programs, state aid, or aid awarded by eligible institutions or such entities as the Department may designate. For more information please see the white paper by NASFAA.

  • If you must export restricted data from Cal Answers, store it securely, in a manner consistent with campus standards

  • When sharing FERPA-protected student data with others is appropriate and permissible, transfer data securely, using approved campus systems

  • Ensure that the computer used to access Cal Answers meets the standards identified in the Berkeley campus policy Minimum Security Standards for Networked Devices. Follow the Campus Information Technology Security Policy and Computer Use Policy

  • Notify the Cal Answers team ( when job responsibilities change and access to restricted student data is no longer required for official job duties.

  • Access to Cal Answers is regulated by CalNet Authentication and usage is auditable.

  • Never share your account login information with anyone.