Annual Notification

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. An eligible student under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days after the day the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) receives your request for access. You must submit to the Office of the Registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) you wish to inspect. The Office of the Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Office of the Registrar, we will advise you of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request amendment of your education records that you believe is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights under FERPA.
    • If you believe that your record contains inaccurate or misleading information, you may submit the Request to Amend or Remove Education Records form to the Office of the Registrar clearly identifying the part of your record that you want amended and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
    • If your request to amend your record is denied by the Office of the Registrar, we will notify you in writing of the decision and your right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. This will include instructions on submitting the Request for Formal Hearing to Amend or Remove Education Records form to the Office of the Registrar.
    • If you disagree with the Hearing Panel's decision, you have the right to place in your record a written statement commenting on the information in the record and/or stating your reasons for disagreeing with the decision. This explanation will become part of your education record as long as the record is maintained and whenever a copy of your record is sent to any party, the explanation will accompany it.

    FERPA was intended to require only that schools conform to fair recordkeeping practices and not to override the accepted standards and procedures for making academic assessments, disciplinary rulings, or placement determinations. Thus, while FERPA affords you the right to seek to amend education records which contain inaccurate information, this right cannot be used to challenge a grade or an individual's opinion, or a substantive decision made by a school about you. Additionally, if FERPA's amendment procedures are not applicable to your request for amendment of education records, UNC is not required under FERPA to hold a hearing on the matter.

  1. The right to provide written consent before the University of Northern Colorado discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent under section §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. FERPA authorizes the disclosure of your education records without your prior consent under the following circumstances:
  • Legitimate Educational Interest -The school discloses education records without your prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests
    • A school official is a person employed by the University of Northern Colorado in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the University of Northern Colorado who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks.
       
    • A school official has a legitimate educational interest in information contained in a student’s education records if the information is necessary for that official to perform a task within the scope of his/her responsibilities that relates to the student or to the management and administration of education at the University of Northern Colorado.  The information is to be used within the context of official University business and not for purposes extraneous to the official’s areas of responsibility or to the University.

      Legitimate educational interests would include teaching, research, public service, and such directly supportive activities as academic advising, general counseling, therapeutic counseling, discipline, vocational counseling and job placement, financial assistance and advisement, medical services, safety, raising endowment in support of student scholarships, and academic programs and academic assistance activities.
  • Directory Information - FERPA directory information is information contained in in your education record that generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Under current UNC policy, the following information is designated as directory information:
      • Student name
      • Student address and phone number (including local mailing and permanent addresses)
      • Email address
      • Date of birth
      • Dates of attendance
      • Full or part-time enrollment
      • Student classification
      • Major field of study
      • Degrees pursued or being pursued
      • Degree conferred and dates
      • Honors, awards and publications
      • Most recently attended educational institution
      • Participation in officially recognized sports and activities, past and present
      • Physical factors of athletes
  • To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34.  (§99.31(a)(2)) 
  • To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs.  Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs.  These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf.  (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  • In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.  (§99.31(a)(4))
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to:  (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction.  (§99.31(a)(6))
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.  ((§99.31(a)(7))
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.  (§99.31(a)(8))
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.  (§99.31(a)(9))
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36.  (§99.31(a)(10))
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39.  The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding.  (§99.31(a)(13))
  • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
  • To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of Northern Colorado to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The complaint must be filed within 180 days of the date of the alleged violation.  The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC  20202

 

Annual notification of students' rights under FERPA may also be found in the front of current catalogs for both undergraduate and graduate students.

A paper copy of the FERPA Guidelines with more specific details about your rights, and any University policies related to FERPA are available for your review from the Office of the Registrar.

More information may be found at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/students.html.

If you have a concern about the University's compliance with FERPA's requirements or need more information about student rights, please call the Office of the Registrar at 970-351-2231 or email registrar@unco.edu.