The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. While parents understandably have an interest in a student's academic progress, they cannot be granted access to a student's records without consent of the student.
We encourage parents to consult with the student if academic information is needed. Students may choose to complete and submit a FERPA Privacy Release request.
Submit a FERPA Privacy Release request on the eForms tile in CampusConnection.
The University of North Dakota requires all its employees to comply with all of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, as amended. It is good for our students; it's good for us; and it's the law.
Whether you are faculty, staff, or students, maintaining the confidentiality of our students' records is everyone's responsibility.
The Office of the Registrar hopes the following will help you better understand FERPA and feel comfortable dealing with student privacy issues. Please contact our office if you have any questions:
Office of the Registrar
FERPA is a federal law designed to:
- Protect the privacy of education records
- Establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records
- Provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading data through informal and formal hearings
- College students must be permitted to inspect their own education records.
- School officials may not disclose personally identifiable information about students nor permit inspection of their records without permission unless such action is covered by certain exceptions permitted by the act.
- Student education records are considered confidential and may not be released without the consent of a student.
- As a staff or faculty member with access to these records, you have the responsibility to protect them while in your possession.
- Some information is considered public (directory information) and may be released without the student's written permission. However, the student has the right to restrict this information as well. Do not release directory information without checking to be sure it is not restricted. If you do not know how, be sure to call the Office of the Registrar for more information.
- Access to these records is for legitimate educational interest only, for the purposes of completing your responsibilities as an employee of the institution completing UND job responsibilities.
- If you are in doubt about releasing student information, DO NOT release the information until you have contacted the Registrar's Office at 701.777.2711.
Students have the right to:
- Respect and review their education report
- Seek amendment to those records and in certain cases, append a statement to the record
- Limit disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their record
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education
An Educational Record is ANY record, file, document or other material (handwritten, tape, disks, film, etc.) which contains information directly related to a student's academic progress, student financial information, student worker information, medical condition or personal interest item. IT IS MORE THAN JUST THE ACADEMIC RECORD, and is NOT confined to the student's file in the Registrar's or college office and may include, but not limited to:
- A document with the student's name and ID
- Personal information
- Tests and other graded projects
- A computer printout
- A class list
- A computer display screen
- Notes taken during an advisement session
The following are not considered Educational Records:
- Sole Possession Records: Records (desk drawer notes) of instructional, supervisory and administrative personnel kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and not revealed to anyone.
- Law Enforcement Unit Records: Records of our campus law enforcement unit created and maintained separately and used solely for law enforcement purposes.
- Employment Records: Records relating to persons who are employees. NOTE: Records of individuals who are employed as a result of their status as students (e.g. work-study or graduate assistant) are education records
- Medical Records: Medical records of a student that are maintained by the University (e.g. Student Health Services) that are used solely in connection with treatment are Treatment Records as defined by FERPA.
- Alumni Records: Records created by an institution after a student has left the institution
- The name of the student, the student's parent, or other family members
- The student's address
- A personal identifier (such as a social security number or student id number)
- A list of personal characteristics or any other information which would make the student identifiable
UND shall obtain consent from students before disclosing any personally identifiable information from their education records. The consent must:
- Specify the records to be released
- State the purpose of the disclosure
- Identify the party or parties to whom disclosure may be made
- Be signed and dated by the student and retained
- Electronic signatures are acceptable
- Information not normally considered a violation of a person's privacy
- Students must be notified of the items of directory information
- Students must be given the opportunity to request that directory information not be released. The right of non-disclosure applies to directory information only.
- If in doubt, don't release any information and contact UND's Registrar's Office for guidance.
- Student name*
- Hometown (city, state)
- Campus email address**
- Height, weight, and photos of athletic team members
- Major field of study (all declared majors)
- Minor field of study (all declared minors)
- Class level
- Dates of attendance
- Enrollment status (withdrawn, half-time, full-time)
- Names of previous institutions attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Honors/awards received
- Degree earned (all degrees earned)
- Date degree earned (dates of all degrees earned)
Degree photos, photographs and video recordings of students in public or non-classroom settings (photographs from classrooms or class-related activities are NOT directory information)
* If a student provides a preferred name, UND tries to use it when communicating directly with the student. The preferred name is also used in class/grade rosters, academic requirement reports, email addresses, etc. Preferred name is a supported business practice, unless there is a documented business or legal reason to use the student's legal name. When communicating with outside third parties, including parents, UND generally uses the student's legal name.
** Campus email addresses are only disclosed to requestors who agree to not use them for solicitation.
A "legitimate educational interest" is when a faculty, staff or other school office is:
- Performing a task that is specified in their position description or contract
It DOES NOT include
- Accessing information for any other purpose
- Viewing previous records/grades to see how a student performed
- Viewing a relatives (son/daughter/spouse etc....) academic record to find out how they did in class
Additional examples of "legitimate educational interest" include:ALL RECORDS OF ALL STUDENTS are not open to all faculty or staff at the institution.
- Faculty /staff on committees (retention committee, scholarship committee, etc...)
- An academic advisor who needs to review a student's educational record to determine what courses have been and /or need to be completed
- Person or organization acting as an official agent of the University and performing a business function or service on behalf of the institution. This includes contracted vendors.
A school official can be a person:
- Employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement and health staff personnel)
- Or company employed by or under contract to the college to perform a special task such as the attorney, auditor, or collection agency
- Or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee.
- When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending post secondary institution regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer to the student
- Parents may obtain non-directory information when their student has provided a signed consent to the institution.
To avoid violations of FERPA rules:
- Don't display student scores or grades publicly
- Don't link the name of a student with any part of that student's social security number or ID in any public manner
- Don't leave graded papers and tests unattended or have students sort through papers of other students to reach their own
- Don't circulate a printed class list with student name and social security number, student ID, or grades as an attendance roster
- Don't discuss the progress of a student with anyone other than the student (including parents/spouses/employers) without the consent of the student
- Don't provide anyone with lists of students enrolled in your classes for commercial or any other purpose
Don't provide anyone with a student's schedule or assist anyone in finding a student on campus. Refer inquiries to the Office of the Registrar or Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
Students who believe that UND is not complying with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or the regulations issued by the Department of Education implementing that Act may file a complaint with UND's Office of the Registrar:
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Complaint Form.
Students may also file complaints in writing to:
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520