FERPA and Student Records
Information about Student's Rights to Records and Privacy.
Records and Privacy
Privacy Request for Student Records
Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), you have the right to withhold disclosure of the information listed below. The following items are designated as "Directory Information" and may be released by this University to non-institutional persons or organizations:
- name, address, telephone number, dates of attendance, e-mail address;
- most recent previous institution attended, major field of study, awards, honors (including Deans' list), degrees conferred (including dates);
- past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, physical factors (height, weight of athletes), date and place of birth;
- Commencement Program (name and degree at time of graduation);
- news releases (at time of graduation).
The Faculty, Staff, and Student Directory is printed during the fall semester for the academic year. In order to prevent disclosure in this publication, students' requests for non-disclosure must be received in the Office of the Registrar prior to the end of the fall semester drop/add period.
Your request to withhold directory information will be honored and must be directed to the Office of the Registrar. The University will not assume responsibility to contact you for subsequent permission for release of these items. The University assumes no liability for honoring your request that such information be withheld.
Restriction, Release, and Update of Student Records
Using Contact and Privacy Information App in MyUWF, students may update their address, phone number, emergency information and restrict the release of information.
Students wishing to release information (academic, financial, etc.) to third parties (including parents) should complete the Release of Information Form (FERPA).
Names changes are NOT processed through MyUWF; students should complete the Name Change section of the Student Address and Name Change Form. Name change requests MUST be accompanied by the following documentation:
- Valid Driver's License OR
- FL ID card OR
- Passport OR
- Other government issued document with the name on it OR
- A legal document (court ordered name change, divorce decree, marriage certificate, etc) AND a copy of the social security card with the appropriate name.
FAQs concerning FERPA
What is FERPA?
FERPA is 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 educational record. FERPA applies to all educational institutions receiving funds from the United States Department of Education, from kindergarten through university level.
What does FERPA mean for me?
At the University of West Florida, the privacy of academic records is also protected by Florida Statute Section 1002.22 (2007). The U.S. Department of Education summarizes the rights afforded to students by FERPA as follows:
- The right to inspect and review educational records within a reasonable period of time and no more than 45 days after the institution has received the request
- The right to request to amend inaccuracies in their educational records
- The right to limit disclosure of some personally identifiable information
- 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. UWF's annual notification appears in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs. Students who suspect that a FERPA violation has occurred, should contact Student Affairs or the Family Policy Compliance Office within the U.S. Department of Education.
What is an Education Record?
An education record is any record directly related to a student that is maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting for the agency or 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
Academic 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
What is Personally Identifiable Information?
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 UWF ID number, a list of personal characteristics or any other information that clearly distinguishes the student’s identity.
What is Directory Information?
Directory information is the information available in the University Catalog.
What is Non-directory Information?
Non-directory information refers to information that generally cannot be released without the student's consent. This includes:
- Birth date
- Disciplinary status
- GPA (grade point average)
- Marital status
- UWF ID or social security number
- Grades/exam scores
- Standardized test scores
- Actual number of hours enrolled