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The University of Missouri-St. Louis conforms to federal regulations known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA. The purpose of FERPA is to provide rights to the students and their families with regard to access and privacy of academic records. FERPA guarantees students at the post-secondary level the right to inspect and view their academic records. It also prohibits UMSL from releasing information from a students record to any third party unless the student authorizes the release.
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is also known as the Buckley Amendment. It is a compilation of federal regulations passed by Congress in 1974. 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.
The purpose of FERPA is to provide rights to students and their families with regard to access and privacy of academic records.
FERPA guarantees students at the post-secondary level the right to inspect and view their academic records. It also prohibits UMSL from releasing information from a student's record to any third party unless the student authorizes the release.
However, the regulations which may be found in 34 CFR Part 99, outline several exceptions to the general rules stated above.
- For details of FERPA, please refer to the UM System Collected Rules and Regulations: Records Management: Student Records.
Who is a Student?
- UMSL defines a student as someone who has been admitted and who has registered in one or more classes. This includes classes that are both on and off campus.
What Records are Covered by FERPA?
All personally identifiable records except those that remain in the sole possession of the maker of the record, such as an instructor’s grade book, are covered by FERPA
EXCEPTION: UMSL will release directory information to third parties without the permission of the student, unless the student has elected to protect their directory information. For more information see the Directory Information section below.
EXCEPTION: Employees of the UM-System who have an educational need to know student information in order to perform their duties as an employee may have access to student records.
Generally, schools must have written permission from the eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
School officials with legitimate educational interest;
Other schools to which a student is transferring;
Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
Do Parents Have any FERPA Rights?
At the secondary school level, parents have a right to review the student's records but that right is transferred to the student at the post-secondary school (college) level. The parent does not have a right to inspect the records of the student.
What is Directory Information?
- Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information. However, schools must tell eligible students about directory information and allow eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.
- Directory Information includes:
- Email Address
- Telephone Listing
- Major Field of Study
- Dates of Attendance
- Degrees and Honors received
- Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
- Student Level
- Enrollment Status (full-time, part-time, etc.)
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- FERPA gives students the right to restrict directory information. Students who want to restrict directory information can update their privacy settings via the Student Information System (MyView) or my submitting the Restrict the Release of Directory Information form to the Registrar's Office (269 MSC).
If a student has restricted directory information, UMSL will not disclose any information regarding that student to third parties without a signed, written release from the student (unless the release is authorized by one of the exceptions as outlined in FERPA).
How Do I Inspect My Records for Errors?
FERPA gives students the right to review their record for errors and to seek resolution if they find what they consider to be an error in their records.
Students should contact the Registrar's Office to arrange a time to review their academic record if they believe an error is on their record.
UMSL has up to 45 days to respond to a student request for a review of their records.
What Might Be in a Student's Record that the Student Cannot Inspect or Review?
Students cannot gain access to documents which contain information on other students (such as a grade roster for a class).
Documents which contain financial information about the student's parent(s) are also excluded from review by the student.
If letters of recommendation are in the student's record, and if the student has waived his or her right to review those letters of recommendation, they too are excluded from review.
Students may review but may not make copies of transcripts from other institutions that might be on file in their UMSL record.
FERPA requires that students be given the right to review but it does not guarantee students the right to make copies of documents in their record.
European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affords individuals certain rights as to how their data is used and processed, and may give them rights to access, correct, or delete their data.
University of Missouri System Policy for Personal Information of Applicants and Students Covered by the GDPR