FERPA Information for Students
Many of the commonly asked questions concerning FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) are listed below. Visit the FERPA glossary for definition of italicized terms. For additional questions, contact One-Stop Student Services.
After reading about FERPA and what is considered directory information, if you wish to set your account to restrict directory information, log in to myWings:
- Click on the Student Records box
- Select Student Self-Service
- Choose Student Records
- Select Non-Disclosure Request
The 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law (20 U.S.C. 1232g) that protects the privacy of a student's education record. FERPA applies to all educational institutions receiving funds from the United States Department of Education, from kindergarten through university level.
At the University of North Florida, the privacy of academic records is also protected by Florida Statute, Section 1002.221 (2009) and University Policy 2.0620P.
The U.S. Department of Education summarizes the rights afforded to students by FERPA as follows:
- The right to inspect and review their educational records.
- The right to request an amendment to educational records due to inaccuracies
- The right to restrict any or all information from public access
- The right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office if they feel their FERPA rights have been violated.
FERPA requires universities to provide students with annual notification of these rights. UNF's annual notification is published in the University catalogs, the student handbook, and our Web site. Students also receive a yearly email. Students who suspect that a FERPA violation has occurred may contact the Family Policy Compliance Office within the U.S. Department of Education.
Education records are any records, files, documents and other materials in paper or electronic form that contain information related to a student's education and are maintained by an educational institution.
Examples of an academic record include, but are not limited to:
- Biographical information including date and place of birth, gender, nationality, information about race and ethnicity, and identification photographs
- Grades, test scores, evaluations, courses taken, academic specialization and activities, and official communications regarding your status
- Coursework including papers and exams, class schedules, as well as written email or recorded communications that are part of the academic process
- Disciplinary records
- Financial aid and financial aid records
- Internship program records
Education records do not include:
- Sole possession records that are used only as memory aids and not shared with others
- Law enforcement unit records
- Employment records, unless the employment is dependent on the employee's status as a student (such as evaluations of graduate assistants)
- Medical records
- Records that only contain information about an individual after he or she is no longer a student at that agency or institution
Personally identifiable information is any information (directory and non-directory information) easily traced to the student, and may include name, name of parents or family members, address, social security or UNF N number, grades, GPA, class schedules, transcripts, a list of personal characteristics, or any other information that clearly distinguishes the student's identity.
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:
- 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
- Weight/ Height of athletes
- Student images, including photographs, videos, or any other media containing a student's image or likeness
Requests for student directory information should be submitted to the University Registrar. The cost is $75.
Non-directory information refers to information that generally cannot be released without the student's consent. This includes:
- Birth date
- Social Security Number
- Disciplinary status
- GPA (grade point average)
- Marital status
- Grades/exam scores
- Standardized test scores
A student's privacy rights expire upon death. Because FERPA rights are no longer extended to deceased students, Federal law allows the institution to exercise its own discretion in deciding whether or not, and under what circumstances, a student's education records should be disclosed to family members or other third parties. Requests for education records of a deceased student should be made to the Office of the Registrar and be for either business purposes or at the request of the estate.