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Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)

In reducing the language of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (known as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment) to simple terms, the law provides that, with certain explicit exceptions, students have the right to determine who will see their education records (confidentiality) and students have the right to see their education records (accessibility). FERPA applies to the education records of persons who are or have been enrolled for classes at UW Oshkosh, 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. Furthermore, rights are not given by FERPA to students enrolled in one component of UW Oshkosh who seek to be admitted in another component (e.g., a student enrolled in an undergraduate degree program, but is denied admission to a graduate program, does not have any FERPA rights in the graduate program which denied him/her admission).

Confidentiality

FERPA allows students to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in education records. There are several exceptions to this, including:

  • Disclosure is permitted without consent to university officials with a legitimate educational interest.  University officials include faculty, staff, and student employees who may need to look at a student’s educational records in order to effectively complete their job duties.
  • Disclosure is permitted without consent to any other educational institution in which a student is currently enrolled.

 

Disclosure of “directory information” is permitted to non-university sources without the permission of the student. 

 

Directory information is defined as “the student’s name, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, classification, major field of study, dates of attendance, full-time/part-time status, degrees and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.” 

 

For example, if a parent calls and asks for information regarding a student, the only information that can be legally released to the parent is directory information.

 

Any student not desiring their directory information to be made public to anyone and not have their contact information listed in the university directory may complete a Nondisclosure Form in Dempsey 148. Please bring a picture I.D. with you to the office.

 

To grant access to your parents or someone else

The University has made it easy for students to grant access to third parties/parents through TitanWeb.  After logging in to TitanWeb, you will see a link that is called “Grant Access to Others” on your Student Center page. 

You will actually create an account and password for the third party/parent. You can choose to give access to four types of information:

  • View and Discuss Financial Aid Awards
  • View and Discuss Student Conduct
  • View, Discuss and Pay Tuition and Fees
  • View and Discuss Grades and Term Statistics

 

You will then receive a confirmation email that shows the login and password for the new account.  This email needs to be forwarded on to third parties/parents, so they know how to log in. You can create three different accounts to grant access to three people.

Parent/guest access only covers those records listed above.    Other records, such as mental health, physical health, and faculty notes/records, are restricted by federal and state laws, university policy, and professional standards.  You can release information from these records to a third party on a case-by-case basis through that particular office.

 

In most cases, the University will not contact parents/guardians or provide medical, academic, or disciplinary information without the student’s consent.  In an emergency where the student’s health is in jeopardy or there is a concern that the student poses a threat to him/herself or to someone else, the University will contact parents/guardians.  As a rule, if the student is able to communicate about the situation, he/she is expected to decide whether and how to discuss it with family members.

Accessibility

Students have the right to inspect and review their educational records. A student also has the right to request a hearing to challenge any information in the education record file that is believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or inappropriate. This right does not extend to reviewing grades unless the grade assigned by the instructor was recorded inaccurately. In the process of challenging the educational record, the student may wish to have copies of any documents in the file; a reasonable fee may be assessed. This charge does not apply to copies of the official academic transcript; there is a $10.00 charge for each official transcript. (Fees are slightly higher for immediate in-person or on-line ordering.) A request for a copy of a document in an education record will be denied if the student has a hold/stop on his/her records, or if the document is a transcript of an original or source document which exists elsewhere.

The student who wishes to challenge information in the educational record must make a written request for a hearing with the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs office. The University must act upon the student’s request within 45 days from the date of its submission.

A hearing panel will review the student's request to challenge information in the educational record. The panel will consist of one person from each of the following: the Office of Student Affairs, the University office responsible for maintaining the educational record which is being challenged, and an office selected by the student who is challenging the information. If the challenge request is not granted, the student will receive written notification of the reasons and a copy of the notice will be placed in the educational record file. The decision of the hearing panel will be final unless there is a significant question of policy or compliance with the law.

If UW Oshkosh decides as a result of the hearing not to amend the education record in accordance with the student's request, the student may place a statement in the record commenting upon the information therein, and/or setting forth any reason for disagreement with the institutional decision not to correct or amend the record. Such a statement will become part of the education record and will be disclosed with it.

The student has a right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by UW Oshkosh to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

For more information on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, please visit the FERPA website.

 

 

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