The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

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(859) 257-6689

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, is a federal law that protects the privacy and confidentiality of personally identifiable information contained within student education records.  Key elements of this law include:

  • Education records are any record maintained by the institution which include student information, regardless of the medium (paper, electronic, et al).
  • FERPA rights transfer to the student upon enrollment in a higher education institution regardless of age.  Parents have no inherent rights to student education records.
  • Institutions may only release directory information to third parties and then only if the student does not have a privacy flag and/or has not provided explicit signed consent to the release of non-directory information.
  • Students have the right to prevent institutional disclosure of any student record information, including directory information (i.e. a FERPA/privacy flag – displayed in myUK and SAP).
  • Students’ have the right to review their own education records.

(Note:  For a full list of FAQs and do’s/don’ts, please click here.)

o   Students – http://www.uky.edu/registrar/FERPA-privacy

o   Parents/Guardians – http://www.uky.edu/registrar/content/ferpa-parentsguardians

o   Faculty/Staff – http://www.uky.edu/registrar/content/facultystaff-ferpa-privacy

  • Confirm student identity by checking a photo ID or photo in the myUK Advising Hub.
  • Do not release student information over the phone or via a non-UK issued email account.  Verification can be done by way asking a few questions that only the student would know (ex. grades in a few courses, ever received a W grade?).
  • Ensure employees lock their offices, computers, desorsks and filing cabinets which contain student information while away from their work station. 
  • Ensure computer monitors displaying student information are not visible to third parties.  Use computer monitor privacy filters or reposition the monitor.
  • Shred or place in a university provided secure receptacle any document that contains student information that can, and is to be, discarded.
  • Do not publicly display grades or leave course assignments/exams to be picked up by students in a public area.

When in doubt, don’t release student information – contact the Office of the Registrar.

For FERPA information, questions or training requests (new staff and continuing staff should be trained/review FERPA updates annually) contact:  Sean Cooper, Sr. Associate Registrar for Student Records, at 859.257.7157 or sean.cooper@uky.edu.

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