Exceptions to Student Consent for Release of Educational Records
Under FERPA, the institution may disclose student records or identifiable information without the student's consent under the following circumstances. UNC's policy for releasing information under these circumstances is handled on a case-by-case basis.
- To authorized representatives for audit of Federal or State supported programs.
- To school officials with legitimate educational interests.
- A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or, in certain circumstances, a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
- A school official is determined to have legitimate educational interest if the information requested is necessary for that official to (a) perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his or her position description or by a contract agreement; (b) perform a task related to a student's education; (c) perform a task related to the discipline of a student; (d) provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid. Disclosure to a school official having a legitimate educational interest does not constitute authorization to share that information with a third party without the students' written permission.
- Veterans Administration officials
- Officials of other institutions in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, after transfer enrollment or admission, disability and other health records may be released in the event of an emergency in the need to protect the health and safety of a student or other persons under FERPA.
- Persons or organizations providing financial aid to students.
- Organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions to develop, validate and administer predictive tests, to administer student aid programs or to improve instruction, provided that individual identity of students is not made.
- Accrediting organizations carrying out their accrediting functions.
- Parents of a student who have established that student's status as a dependent according to Internal Revenue Code of 1954, Section 152; in connection with a health and safety emergency in connection with § 99.36; or the student is under 21 and has violated a federal, state or local law or a policy of the university related to the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
- Persons in compliance with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena, provided that the institution makes a reasonable attempt to notify the student in advance of compliance. NOTE: The institution is not required to notify the student if a federal grand jury subpoena, or any other subpoena issued for a law enforcement purpose, orders the institution not to disclose the existence or contents of the subpoena.
- If the school determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health and safety to a student or other individuals, it may disclose information from educational records to appropriate parties.
- An alleged victim of any crime of violence may receive the results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator. The information may only be given in respect to the crime committed.
- Schools may disclose personally identifiable information from education records to an outside contractor without prior written student consent if the outside contractor is a "party acting for" the institution and is performing a service which the institution would otherwise have to perform for itself (as in the case of the National Student Loan Clearinghouse for loan verification).
- Representatives of the Department of Homeland Security or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for purposes of the coordinated interagency partnership regulating the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
- FERPA has been amended to permit educational agencies and institutions to disclose personally identifiable information from the student's records to the Attorney General of the United States or to his designee in response to an ex parte order in connection with the investigation or prosecution of terrorism crimes, under the US Patriot Act.
- Allows the return of an educational record, or information from an education record, to the party identified as the provider or creator of the record.
- Information regarding a registered sex offender's enrollment or employment status, or any changes of such.