Information Release and FERPA
The Office of the Registrar is responsible for keeping student education records. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, protects the privacy of education records, establishes the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings.
FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
- 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 a written (letter or fax) request to the Office of the Registrar that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Office of the Registrar, registrar-designated staff will refer the student to the appropriate personnel or office to access the record.
- The right to request the amendment of a record they believe is inaccurate or misleading. A student may ask the university to amend the student’s education records if he/she believes they are inaccurate or misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights. 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 his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. If the university denies the amendment request after the hearing, the student is given the right to insert a statement in the education record.
- 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. The university may release, without consent, certain directory information.
The university discloses education records without a student’s written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person designated by the university to perform an assigned function on behalf of the university, including an individual employed by the university as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or administrative staff member (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff) or a volunteer; a person or company with whom the institution has contracted to perform a service instead of using university employees (such as an auditor, attorney or other third party); a member of the board of regents; a government entity or any other entity with which a student is placed as part of his or her education; or a student serving on an official committee (such as a judicial or academic review committee or scholarship committee) or helping another university official perform his or her tasks. A university official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs the student’s education record to perform work appropriate to his or her position.
Upon request, the university also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled.
The following information is designated as directory information by the university:
- Names of students
- Dates of attendance at the university
- Program/major field(s) of study
- Degrees and certificates received including dates
- Participation in officially recognized university activities
- Academic and co-curricular awards, honors, and scholarships received and dates received
- Weight and height of students on athletic teams
- Students’ email addresses
- Hometown, city and state
Students may inform the Office of the Registrar in writing that they do not give permission for the university to release their directory information, or they 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.
Students have 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 20202-5920
The University of Alaska Board of Regents’ Policy and University Regulation (09.04.) regarding education records can be reviewed at http://www.alaska.edu/bor/policy-regulations/.
Honors and Scholarships
Names of students receiving awards or scholarships or who appear on the dean’s list or chancellor’s list are released to the media unless a student has requested that no directory information be released. Instructions for electing FERPA confidentiality are available at http://www.alaska.edu/studentservices/ferpa/elect/.