FERPA Definitions

Annual Notification

FERPA requires universities to provide annual notification of their institutional policy regarding the privacy of education records. Universities must include in this notification that students have the right:

  • To inspect and review their academic records
  • To seek amendment to their academic records
  • To consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their student records (unless an exception outlined in the law applies)
  • To file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office if they feel their FERPA rights have been violated
 

In addition, the university must include the procedures for inspection of records, the procedure for amending records, the criteria for defining a school official, and determining what constitutes a legitimate educational interest. Each year UNF notifies students of its FERPA policy in the online catalog, student handbook, and by e-mail.

Attendance  

At UNF, students are considered to be 'in attendance' or 'attending' UNF when they first register for classes.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

The CFR contains the general body of regulatory laws governing practice and procedure before federal administrative agencies. The regulations pertaining to FERPA are found in 34 CFR 99.

Confidentiality of Student Records

The practice of controlling the use and disclosure of personal/academic record information so that only authorized faculty/staff or persons specifically authorized by the student have access to such information.

Dependent Student

Generally refers to a student who receives more than half of his/her support from the taxpayer. For a specific definition, refer to the Internal Revenue Code.

Directory Information

Directory information is the information available about a student that is not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. While FERPA and state law protect the privacy of education records, directory information is not treated as confidential and may be disclosed by the university without student consent unless the student requests non-disclosure. At UNF, the following has been designated as directory information:

  • Name
  • Mailing Address
  • Telephone number
  • Dates of attendance
  • Admitted College / Majors
  • Degrees Awarded
  • Status (Full or Part-Time)
  • Classification (freshman, sophomore, etc)
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Honors
  • Weight/ Height of athletes
  • Student images, including photographs, videos, or any other media containing a student's image or likeness


Disclosure

To permit access to, release of, transfer of, or to communicate personally identifiable information contained in academic records to any party by any means, including oral, written or electronic.

Education Records

Any academic information directly related to a student that is maintained by an institution, not including sole possession, law enforcement, employment or medical records, or records created after a student has left the university.

Family Policy Compliance Office

The Family Policy Compliance Office within the U.S. Department of Education is responsible for enforcing/administering FERPA at all levels of education.

400 Maryland Avenue SW

Washington, D.C. 20202

(202)-260-3887

(202) 260-9001 FAX

ferpa@ed.gov

 

FERPA

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. A federal law designed to protect the privacy of student records and to allow students access to their education records. This law is also known as the Buckley Amendment. The privacy of student records is also governed by state law, in Section 1002.22 of the Florida Statutes.

Legitimate Educational Interest

Legitimate educational interest means a University official has a need-to-know specific information in a student's record. Legitimate interest refers to any authorized interest or activity undertaken in the name of the University; access to an education record must be necessary or appropriate to the operation of the University or to the proper performance of the educational mission of the University.

Non-Disclosure / Confidentiality

A code on a student's academic record that prohibits the University from releasing directory information to anyone other than the student, except to school officials with a legitimate educational interest, and other situations in which consent is not required by law, such as a lawful subpoena.

Non-directory Information

Information that generally cannot be released without the student's consent. This includes:

  • Birth date
  • Religion
  • Citizenship
  • Disciplinary status
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • GPA (grade point average)
  • Marital status
  • UNF N or social security number
  • Grades/exam scores
  • Standardized test scores


Parent

A natural parent, a guardian or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or a guardian.

Student Information Release Authorization

To be completed by the student. Allows students to grant one-time access to non-directory information to a third party. The form can be obtained from One-Stop Student Services at (904) 620-5555.
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Personally Identifiable Information

Any information, directory and non-directory, easily traced to the student. This may include the student's name, name of parents or family members, address, social security or UNF N number, a list of personal characteristics, or any other information that clearly distinguishes the student’s identity.

Post-secondary Educational Institution

An institution that provides education to students beyond high school.

Power of Attorney

A written legal document that provides an individual the authority to act for another.

Request to Review Academic Record

Completed by a student who wishes to review and/or amend his or her academic record. This form is available at One-Stop Student Services.

School Official

An agent of the university or State University System of Florida in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position; members of university committees, boards and/or councils; and persons under contract to the university to perform a special task, such as an attorney or auditor.

Sole Possession Records

Records kept in sole possession of the maker are used only as a personal memory aid and are not accessible or revealed to any other person. These are not considered education/academic records.

Student

Any individual 18 years or older or any individual who is attending or has attended a post-secondary educational agency or institution that maintains academic records.

Subpoena

A command issued from a court requiring the person named in the subpoena to appear at a stated time and place to provide testimony and/or documents. There are two main types of subpoenas — those that require an individual to produce documents or papers and those that require an individual to testify in court. When the University intends to release documents in response to a subpoena, the University will send written notice to the student and will wait a specified time before releasing any information.

United States Code (USC)

A compilation of all federal legislation organized into 50 titles. Revised every six years with supplementary volumes issued in intervening years. The legislation related to FERPA is found in 20 U.S.C. 1232g.