FERPA Students Guide

What is Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?

UNIVERSITY STUDENT EDUCATIONAL RECORDS (FERPA) POLICY

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:

The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the university receives a request for access.  A student should submit to the Office of the Registrar a written request (letter or fax) that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect.  The registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.  If the records are not maintained by the registrar, registrar-designated staff shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

A student who wishes to ask the university to amend a record should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.

If the university decides not to amend the record as requested, the university will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing re­garding the request for amendment.  Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without con­sent. 

The university discloses education records without a student’s 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 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 Regents; 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 who performs an institutional service of function for which the university would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the university with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information 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 if the official needs to review an educa­tion record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the university.

Upon request, the university also discloses education records without consent to offi­cials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

The university also discloses information without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure of information that it has designated as “directory information”.

 

Designated Directory Information

The following information is designated as directory information by the university:

  1. Names of students
  2. Dates of attendance at the university
  3. Program/major field(s) of study
  4. Degrees and certificates received including dates
  5. Participation in officially recognized university activities
  6. Academic and co-curricular awards, honors, and scholarships received and dates received
  7. Weight and height of students on athletic teams
  8. Students' electronic mail  addresses
  9. Hometown; city and state

A student may inform the Office of the Registrar in writing that he/she does not give permission for the university to release his/her directory information or may submit the request through UAOnline at http://uaonline.alaska.edu. The request is valid until a subsequent request to release directory information is received in writing or through UAOnline.

See the list below of the other disclosures that postsecondary institutions may make without consent. 

FERPA permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from students' education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations.  Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure.  Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.  A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student

  1. To other school officials, including teachers, within the university whom the university has determined to have legitimate educational interests.  This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the university has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
  2. 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))
  3. 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)
  4. 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))
  5. To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the university, in order to:  (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
  6. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7))
  7. To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
  8. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
  9. To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36.  (§99.31(a)(10))
  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))
  11. To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the university 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 university's rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
  12. 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 university, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the university determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Solomon Amendment?

In addition, UAA is required by Federal Law (The Solomon Amendment) to provide student directory information (name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, level of education, academic major, degrees received, the educational institution in which the student most recently was enrolled) to United States Military Recruiting and Reserve Officer Training Corps personnel upon their request unless the student has submitted a non-disclosure request according to UAA procedures.

 

How do I activate a Directory Hold Request?

Students may inform the Office of the Registrar that he/she does not give permission for the University to release his/her directory information by submitting a Directory Withhold Information Request form.

Students may also activate or deactivate a directory hold through the UAOnline account, under Student Services.  The request for non-disclosure are valid until a subsequent written request to release directory information is received.

 

What are the pros and cons of a directory hold?

By placing a directory information hold (confidentiality flag) on our account the following will likely occur:

  • you will not appear in the published university chancellor's and dean's lists, commencement program, or all other university publications.
  • you will not be eligible for enrollment and/or degree verifications, your attendance and/or degree will not be verified for insurance companies, scholarships, potential employers, etc.

By revoking or not enabling the directory information hold (confidentiality flag) on your account the following will likely occur:

  • your directory information can be released to Military Recruiting and Reserve Officer Training Corps personnel (per Solomon Act requirements).
  • your directory information can be released to the public by UA.
  • your directory information can and may be released and printed in newspapers, publications, etc.

 

 

To File a Complaint

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply  with the requirements of FERPA.  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