The 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. A student is defined as an individual who is (or has been) in attendance and for whom the university maintains education records. All rights under FERPA apply to the student. Education records are defined as all records maintained by the University about a student. There are six exceptions:

The law provides to the student the following rights:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.

    Students should submit to the Office of the Assistant Chancellor for Student Affairs a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Assistant Chancellor 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 Office of the Assistant Chancellor for Student Affairs, the office shall advise the student of the University official(s) to whom the request should be addressed.

  2. The right to request an amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

    Students may ask the University official to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

    If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of the 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.

  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

    One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. School officials have a legitimate educational interest if the officials need to review an education record in order to fulfill their professional responsibility. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel or health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent or the National Student Loan Clearinghouse); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting other school officials in performing their tasks.

    Under the act, prior written consent must be obtained before information may be disclosed to third parties unless they are exempted from this provision. These exceptions include:

    At its discretion the University may provide Directory information in accordance with the provisions of the Act to include: student name, home and local addresses and telephone numbers, degree program, dates of attendance, term credits attempted, degrees and awards received, the most previous educational agencies or institutions attended, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of athletic teams. Also, a portion of the student ID number may be used to post final grades. Students may withhold Directory information from third parties by notifying the Registrar in writing prior to the first day of classes for the fall semester and the request must be filed annually. A request for non-disclosure received after the fall semester begins will be honored by the University for the remainder of the academic year.

  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of Wiconsin-Whitewater 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, 20202-4605.

    Revisions and clarifications to FERPA will be published as experience with the law and the university's policies warrant.

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UW-Whitewater Undergraduate Bulletin - 1997-1999
Office of the Registrar
Formatted by Matt Benson - UWW
Last Update - LW 8/31/97