Learn about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which protects students' privacy and right to review education records.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (also known as the "Buckley Amendment") was created to protect the privacy of students. Learn more about this important act below.
- Purpose of FERPA
- Written Consent to Disclose Student Information
- Student Records Release Form
Purpose of FERPA
FERPA gives students who have reached the age of 18 or who attend a post secondary institution the right to inspect and review their own educational records. FERPA applies to the education records of persons who are or have been in attendance in post secondary institutions, including students in cooperative and correspondence study programs. FERPA does not apply to records of applicants for admission who are denied acceptance or, if accepted, do not attend an institution. Furthermore, rights are not given by FERPA to students enrolled in one component of an institution who seek to be admitted in another component of an institution.
Students' rights given by FERPA include:
- 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 written requests to the University Registrar or designee that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. In order to ask the university to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading, students should write to the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, a university official will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for the amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- 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. A primary exception permits disclosure without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, consultant or collection agency); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
- The right to prevent disclosure of directory information. UMGC may disclose directory information without consent unless a student files a written notice restricting the disclosure within three weeks of the first day in which the student is enrolled to the appropriate office. UMGC designates the following items as directory information:
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance
- Degrees and awards received
- Previous educational institution most recently attended
- Date of birth
- 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. Complaints to the Department of Education should be submitted to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
Written Consent to Disclose Student Information
Disclosure of a student's record may only be provided to a third party with written consent from the student. This would include spouses, parents, other relatives, and employers. If you would like UMGC to discuss aspects of your UMGC student records with a third party please complete the student records release form and submit it via e-mail to the Office of Student Services.
Student Records Release Form
Access your student records release form below. Please note that students in the military use a different form and have different faxing instructions.
Download the Student Records Release Form.