Piazza Network FAQ

Are all my students default opted into the Piazza Network?

No, students are not opted into the Piazza Network by default. They need to go through a 3 click opt-in process to join the Piazza Network

What is the opt-in process for students to join the Piazza Network?

Piazza Network is a conspicuous and transparent 3 click opt-in process.

In close partnership with administrators at several of the top universities and dozens more, we have evolved our signup flow to one that provides detailed and informed consent — these schools have worked with us to vet this signup flow to meet their standards and requirements.

We have a public web page detailing our signup flow (piazza.com/studentsignup) specifically to ensure that faculty and staff can see the signup flow for themselves.

Students who opt in can opt out at any time afterwards. Opt-in rates vary by school and population, ranging between 40%-80% within a school based on students’ perception of opportunities, e.g. women have a higher opt-in rate than men.

Opted-in students can manage the profile that employers see at piazza.com/myprofile, and no personally identifiable data is ever shared with employers on Piazza Network without a student’s full knowledge and active consent.

Can companies ever see my students' posts?

No, companies can never see or interact with the Q&A content in your classes.

When a student joins the Piazza Network, what information is shared with employers?

When students opt in to the Piazza Network, they consent to having employers contact them for job and internship opportunities.

Information that is shared with employers when a student joins the Piazza Network:

  • Student coursework metadata:
    • Classes taken on Piazza (course number and course name)
    • Role in that class (TA vs student)
    • Top Student badge*
  • Optional fields that students can complete on their profile:
    • Major
    • Minor
    • Graduation year
    • Awards
    • Work experience
    • Diversity indicators

Q&A class posts are never shared with employers, nor any other Q&A class content except for the metadata listed above.

See screenshot of an example student profile.

*Instructors can disable instructor endorsements from carrying over to students’ profiles in the Piazza Network by disabling the Top Student badge in their Manage Class page.

How can I see what students and companies see?

To see step by step screenshots of what students and employers in the Piazza Network see, visit piazza.com/piazzanetwork.

Feel free to drop our team a note at team@piazza.com should you still have questions or need any further clarifications.

How can a student leave the Piazza Network?

Students can visit their Account Settings page from the top right menu to leave the Piazza Network. Visit our support page to see step by step instructions.

They can email us at any time at team@piazza.com should they have any questions about what employers see, or about the Piazza Network.

Why did we invite companies to the Piazza Network?

Piazza Network's mission is to open up opportunity — to democratize access to opportunities the same way that Piazza Q&A enables inclusive learning.

Employers today have an over-reliance on referrals and recruiting at a small number of the same universities which unfairly limits opportunities. They are struggling to drive qualified interest – they need talent and yet getting in front of talent is resource-intensive for these companies. The vast majority of talent goes unnoticed.

Piazza Network enables employers to expand where they are recruiting and open opportunities to deserving students everywhere — helping them connect with a broader, more diverse (in every dimension) pool of candidates. This opens up opportunities for students on our platform.

How does Piazza comply with FERPA?

Piazza acts as a school official for FERPA covered records, and will protect personally identifiable information from education records in accordance with FERPA and applicable school policy. This is documented in our Terms of Service and with universities in specific bilateral agreements.

Piazza Q&A Platform

With Piazza’s Q&A platform:

  • Students’ email addresses and course enrollment information are only accessible to instructors of the class.
  • Class posts are only visible to instructors and students that are properly enrolled in the course, and instructors can add an extra layer of security by enabling an access code if desired.
  • A student can post so she remains anonymous to her classmates, or even to the instructor if the instructor allows that option.
  • Students may ask their instructors to enroll them in a class using a non-identifying e-mail address, and may use a pseudonym.
Piazza Network

The Piazza Network is a careers-oriented product. Students have the ability (but not the requirement) to opt-in to the Piazza Network (via an active opt-in selection process) as part of the Piazza sign up flow. Subsequent to opting in, students have the ability to opt-out at any time. Should they opt-in, the Piazza Network enables students and employers to connect. Employers do not get access to any Q&A content, and the only information that is shared with employers is with a student’s full knowledge and active consent.

We are committed to maintaining best-in-class privacy and data-protection to safeguard the community, as well as a transparent signup flow for students choosing to join the Piazza Network. For those students that opt-in, Piazza Q&A and Piazza Network are complementary products. For those that choose not to join the Network, they only see Q&A and none of their information is shared on the Network.

Has Piazza considered charging professors or students (or explored alternative business models)?

From the beginning, we built Piazza with the conviction that it needed to be free for students and professors to ensure that all students, regardless of financial circumstances or country of origin, can have the opportunity to learn from their classmates and every instructor is empowered to have a positive and personal impact on her students.

As more and more professors adopted our platform, many of those professors expressed worry about the sustainability of Piazza. If Piazza were to remain free for students and professors, how would we ensure long-term continuity of the service?

We didn’t want professors to have to pay, or ask their students to pay. Many of the students that benefit most from Piazza are underrepresented and have a hard time finding a voice in the classroom. These students would likely be hardest hit with such a charge.

A series of experiments inspired the Piazza Network, a completely opt-in platform that allows students and employers to connect. Revenue from this product enables us to provide Piazza Q&A for free, while benefiting those students that choose to opt-in with career and networking opportunities.

This is what makes us different — our Q&A product is and always will be free, and professors and students can trust that we will be around for the long-term because we have found a sustainable business model that further serves students (by connecting them with careers and other opportunities).

Does Piazza sell student data?

Piazza does not sell data to third parties. Piazza Network is like LinkedIn — enabling students and employers to connect with each other. Much like LinkedIn, if a student has opted into the Piazza Network, employers can discover students using searches and contact them regarding job and internship opportunities. In the sign up process to the Piazza Network, that is laid out to students so students understand in what capacity they will be sought out and contacted. None of their data is harvested nor sold.

Is student data harvested for ads?

Piazza intentionally does not have an ad supported model. Piazza is not like social platforms where user data is used for targeted advertising. In fact, when it came time to develop a revenue strategy that would keep Piazza free to students and professors (a founding principle) we specifically chose not to pursue ads or anything that involved harvesting or selling data. Instead, in keeping with Piazza Q&A, we wanted to do something valuable for students, should they choose to participate. That has manifested in the form of the Piazza Network, connecting students with job and internship opportunities.

I still have questions!

We’ve worked hard to build a network that helps connect students with opportunity, while enabling us to keep the core Q&A offering free for professors and students.

We don’t claim to have gotten it all right! If you have any questions or suggestions on how we can improve this additional offering, please don’t hesitate to drop us a note at productfeedback@piazza.com. We would love to hear from you.