The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, is a federal law that protects the privacy and confidentiality of personally identifiable information contained within student education records. Key elements of this law include:
- Education records are any record maintained by the institution which include student information, regardless of the medium (paper, electronic, et al).
- FERPA rights transfer to the student upon enrollment in a higher education institution regardless of age. Parents have no inherent rights to student education records.
- Institutions may only release directory information to third parties and then only if the student does not have a privacy flag and/or has not provided explicit signed consent to the release of non-directory information.
- Students have the right to prevent institutional disclosure of any student record information, including directory information (i.e. a FERPA/privacy flag – displayed in myUK and SAP).
- Students’ have the right to review their own education records.
(Note: For a full list of FAQs and do’s/don’ts, please click here.)
o Students – http://www.uky.edu/registrar/FERPA-privacy
o Parents/Guardians – http://www.uky.edu/registrar/content/ferpa-parentsguardians
o Faculty/Staff – http://www.uky.edu/registrar/content/facultystaff-ferpa-privacy
- Confirm student identity by checking a photo ID or photo in the myUK Advising Hub.
- Do not release student information over the phone or via a non-UK issued email account. Verification can be done by way asking a few questions that only the student would know (ex. grades in a few courses, ever received a W grade?).
- Ensure employees lock their offices, computers, desorsks and filing cabinets which contain student information while away from their work station.
- Ensure computer monitors displaying student information are not visible to third parties. Use computer monitor privacy filters or reposition the monitor.
- Shred or place in a university provided secure receptacle any document that contains student information that can, and is to be, discarded.
- Do not publicly display grades or leave course assignments/exams to be picked up by students in a public area.
When in doubt, don’t release student information – contact the Office of the Registrar.
For FERPA information, questions or training requests (new staff and continuing staff should be trained/review FERPA updates annually) contact: Sean Cooper, Sr. Associate Registrar for Student Records, at 859.257.7157 or firstname.lastname@example.org.