The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, or FERPA, is the United States federal law that protects student records privacy review and disclosure rights. The law guarantees these rights for both current and former UCF students.
Additionally, FERPA specifies that UCF faculty and staff in most circumstances may not disclose personally-identifiable information about students or release educational records to 3rd parties without receiving written and signed consent. Circumstances do exist, however, under which UCF may release personally identifiable information or educational records without students’ knowledge or consent.
Personally-identifiable information includes any data or information that includes the student’s name, parent’s name, other family members, and the student’s social security number or student identification number (UCFID). Additionally, any list of personal characteristics or other information that would make the student’s identity traceable is not allowed to be disclosed without consent.
Educational Records are considered confidential. Under most circumstances records will not be released without written and signed consent. FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review educational records within 45 days
(State of Florida law = 30 days)
- The right to seek to amend educational records
- The right to have some control over the disclosure of information from – educational records
- The right to obtain a copy of the institution’s student records policy
- The right to file a complaint with the Department of Education.
Educations records include (but not limited to): grades, class schedule, test scores, academic standing, and academic transcripts. These records may not be released to anyone but the student and only then with the proper identification.
The following is a non-comprehensive list of information items that FERPA does not consider as educational records and therefore are not subject to a student’s request for review:
- Law enforcement records
- Records maintained exclusively for individuals in their capacity as employees. Records of those who are employed as a result of their status as students (e.g., work-study, student workers, etc.), however, are considered educational records
- Medical treatment records
- Doctor-patient privileged records
- Alumni records
- Sole source notes
- Records maintained exclusively for individuals in their capacity as employees
Some information, called Directory Information, may be released to 3rd parties without the student’s prior consent, unless the student files a written request to restrict directory information access. Directory Information is considered the following:
- current mailing address
- telephone number
- date of birth
- major field of study
- dates of attendance
- enrollment status
- degrees and awards received
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- athletes’ height and weight
MD Students have the right to withhold the release of the preceding items by completing the FERPA Directory Information Authorization form.
Useful documentation can be found on the UCF Registrar’s Site: