FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and is a federal law that was enacted in 1974. FERPA protects the privacy of student education records. All educational institutions that receive federal funding must comply with FERPA.
If you're a student, it's important for you to understand your rights under FERPA. If you're a parent, you'll need to understand how the law changes once your student enters a post-secondary institution. If you're an employee of UNLV with access to student education records, you're obligated to comply with FERPA and to protect those records according to the law.
Students' Rights under FERPA
FERPA gives students four basic rights with respect to their education record:
- The right to control disclosure of their education record
- The right to review their education record
- The right to request amendment of inaccurate or misleading portions of their education record
- The right to file a complaint regarding non-compliance of FERPA with the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education
Any record that directly relates to a student and is maintained by the institution or a party acting on behalf of the institution is considered an education record. Protected education records can be maintained in paper, digital/electronic or other formats. Examples include, but are not limited to the following.
- Class schedules
- Daily attendance
- Degree audit reports
- Class rosters
- Advising notes
- Financial records
The following records are excluded from the definition of education records:
- "Sole possession" records made by faculty and staff for their own use as reference or memory aids and not shared with others
- Personal observations
- University law enforcement records
- Medical and mental health records used only for the treatment of the student
- Alumni records
- Peer graded papers and exams prior to the grade being recorded in the instructor's grade book
When FERPA Rights Begin
Any person who attends or has attended UNLV is considered a student. A student is considered to be an "attending student" if he or she
- has been admitted;
- is currently attending UNLV classes (either as an on-campus or distance student); or
- is a continuing education student.
Persons who have applied for admissions, but have NOT been admitted to UNLV are NOT covered by FERPA.
Faculty, staff, and students who have access to protected records will be required to complete training as appropriate. General training about FERPA will be provided by the university. Additional training will be provided by the registrar's office. Please contact the registrar's office to set up training.