What is FERPA?
• The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
• Also known as the Buckley Amendment
Who does FERPA apply to?
• Students who are or who have been in attendance at a post-secondary institution are covered.
• Applicants who are denied admission, those who never attend, and deceased students are not covered.
When do FERPA rights begin?
• When a student is "in attendance" as defined by the institution.
• UNC defines "in attendance" as the date the student is admitted to the University.
What are student rights under FERPA?
• The right to prevent disclosure of personally identifiable information from their educational record without consent or permitted exceptions.
• The right to inspect their educational records.
• The right to have their records amended if they are believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights.
• The right to expect that their education records are kept confidential except where special provisions are made.
• The right to suppress the disclosure of directory information.
• The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they feel their rights are being violated.
What are and are not education records?
• Education records are records that directly relate to a student and are maintained by the University. They can include, but aren't limited to:
• Computer Printouts
• Class Lists
• Computer Display Screen
• Notes from Advising Sessions
• Education records are not :
• Records/notes in sole possession of faculty/staff member not accessible or revealed to any other person.
• Medical Records
• Employment Records
• Law Enforcement Records
What information can be released?
• Directory Information
• Information that the student has given written consent to release
• Information needed by employees who have a legitimate educational interest
• Information needed by certain government agencies
What is directory or public information?
• Information that can be released without the student's written consent.
• Each institution, to some extent, can determine what information they classify as directory information.
Directory Information at UNC contains:
• Address & Phone
• Email Address
• Enrollment Status
• Date of Birth
• Degrees Pursued
• Dates of Attendance
• Degree Conferred and Dates Conferred
• Participation in Recognized Sports
• Honors, Awards, Publications
• Physical Factors of Athletes
How can a student withhold directory information?
• Students may prohibit general disclosure of directory information by submitting the Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information Form to the Registrar's Office.
• The student should carefully consider the consequences of any decision to withhold any category of directory information. Regardless of the effect upon a student, the University assumes no liability that may arise out of its compliance with a request that such information be withheld.
• It will be assumed that the failure on the part of the student to request the withholding of Directory Information indicates the student's consent to disclosure.
What can happen if we fail to follow the law?
• Loss of Federal funding
What if I have a question on what can or cannot be released under FERPA?
• When in doubt, don't give it out!
• Any questions should be referred to the Registrar's Office, 970.351.2231.
Want to test your FERPA knowledge?
Click here to take the FERPA Quiz.