Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Confidentiality of Student Records
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (also known as the Buckley Amendment) affords students four primary rights with respect to their education records. They have the right to:
- Inspect and review their education records
- Have some control over the disclosure of information from their education records
- Seek to amend incorrect education records
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office
What are education records?
They are records directly related to a student and maintained by the institution or by a party acting for the institution. In many cases, written consent by the student is required to disclose the contents of an education record.
Students are advised that at its discretion and in conformance with applicable state law, the University may disclose directory information to the public without obtaining a student's prior consent, so long as certain conditions regarding general notification of disclosure of directory information has been followed. Specific directory information about an individual student will not be released to the public if the student has affirmatively informed the University that he or she does not want any or all of those types of information above himself or herself designated as directory information. The items listed have been predetermined by the UH System. (updated April 13, 2015)
- Name of student
- Major field of study
- Class (i.e., freshman, sophomore, etc.)
- Past and present participation in officially recognized activities (including positions held and official statistics related to such participation and performance)
- Past and present participation in officially recognized sports (including positions held and official statistics related to such participation and performance)
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Dates of attendance
- Previous institution(s) attended
- Full or part-time status
- Degree(s) conferred (including dates)
- Honors and awards (including dean's list)
Lists of directory information will not be made publicly available to third parties.
The school may provide the UH Foundation with lists of students with the following information: name, school/college/division/department. Degree, major and minor fields of study, UH email address, home address, and telephone number for the purpose of University and alumni relations.
A student has the right to request that all of the above items not be designated Directory Information with respect to that student. Should a student wish to exercise this right, he or she must in person and in writing, not earlier than the first day of instruction nor later than fourteen calendar days from the first day of instruction for the academic term or semester, or the fourth day of a summer session, inform each Campus Registrar each campus he or she is attending which of the above items are not to be disclosed without the prior consent of that student. Report to the Office of the Registrar at the Student Services Center, Room E-101 (first floor) to make this request. You may also download the Request to Opt Out of Directory Information and return to the Office of the Registrar.
A student may submit in writing a Consent to Disclose Education Records to Third Party and return it to the Office of the Registrar. The consent will be placed in the students file and considered active until the student graduates or rescinds the request.
Submission of this FERPA nondisclosure of directory information request does not automatically remove students from the UH Online Directory of email addresses, which is accessible only to those with a valid UH email address.
To remove yourself from the UH Online Directory
FERPA Annual Notice Addendum:
- MyUH Services
- Select the My Profile Tab
- Look for UH Online Directory, Options for Students, select Opt-out
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records -- including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information-- may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.