FERPA and Student Records
Information about UWF's Students' 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 (legal and preferred);
- Address (local and permanent)
- Enrollment Status (e.g. undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time);
- University assigned E-mail Address
- Current Telephone number (local and permanent);
- Major field of study;
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports, including the birthdate, place of birth, weight and height of members of University athletic teams;
- Dates of attendance at UWF;
- Degree(s) earned at UWF;
- University recognized Degrees, Certificates, Thesis/Dissertation Titles, Awards and Honors received (including Dean’s List and President’s List);
- Grade classification (Freshman, Sophomore,Junior, Senior or Graduate Student);
- Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended
Your request to withhold directory information will be honored. 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 the Contact and Privacy Information App in MyUWF, students may update their address, phone number, emergency information, restrict the release of information and indicate a third party to which information (academic, financial, etc.) may be released, including parents. Please see Using the Contact and Privacy Info Wizard.
Names changes are NOT processed through MyUWF; students should complete the Name Change section of the Student Name and Address 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
How do I update my privacy (FERPA) information?
Please see Using the Contact and Privacy Info Wizard.
How do I allow my parents access to my student information?
Please see Using the Contact and Privacy Info Wizard.
Explain withholding Directory Information versus a Full Confidentiality Hold.
Withholding your Directory Information prevents UWF from disclosing to the general public any information from student educational records which is designated as "directory information." See Privacy section of Using the Contact and Privacy Info Wizard.
The Full Confidentiality Hold is used only in rare circumstances. Your entire educational record will be suppressed (this includes the Directory Information listed above). If a student elects to have the Registrar's Office place a Full Confidentiality Hold on their record, it means that the student's entire educational record will be suppressed and that they will not be able to discuss any part of their educational record with UWF staff remotely (telephone, email, FAX, or regular mail) but instead will have elected to have all conversations about their educational record in person.