FAQs for Students
- What is FERPA?
- The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 or FERPA (also known as the Buckley Amendment), governs the privacy of student educational records with regard to the release of those records and access to those records. FERPA provides for the confidentiality of student records. It also provides for the release of student information without having to always seek the consent of the individual. The designation of certain student data elements as directory information - such as information that you would find contained in the campus telephone book, in the online web-based people directory, and in sports brochures - allows the institution to release certain data without having to constantly request student permission. Students are notified of their FERPA rights and the procedures for limiting disclosure of directory information on the MyUNLV website, in the Rebel FERPA Flier, at orentation for new students and in annual emails.
- Why is it important to me?
FERPA gives four basic rights to students:
- the right to review their education records;
- the right to seek to amend their education records;
- the right to control the disclosure of their education records;
- and the right to notify the Department of Education concerning an academic institution's failure to comply with FERPA regulations.
- What is the difference between my education record and directory information?
Directory Information: Information that can be released without additional consent from the student. NSHE and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas have established the following as directory information.
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Dates of attendance
- Date of graduation
- Telephone number
- Undergraduate or graduate student status
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Most recent educational agency or institution attended
- Email address (university-supplied)
- Enrollment status (full-time or part-time)
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- Major field of study
Education Record: 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 rosters
- Class schedules
- Advising notes
- Degree audit reports
- Financial records
- Who can access my records?
Under certain conditions FERPA allows institutions to disclose educational records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions;
- Schools officials1 with legitimate educational interest2;
- 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 institution;
- Accrediting organizations;
- To comply with judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided that the institution makes a reasonable attempt to notify the student in advance of compliance;
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
- State and local authorities, with juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law.
1The NSHE definition of "school official" is "a person employed by the institution in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the institution has contracted as its' agent to provided a service instead of using institutional employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks."
2For NSHE purposes, a school official is determined to have legitimate educational interest if the information requested is necessary for that official to (a) perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his or her position description or by a contract agreement; (b) perform a task related to a student’s education; (c) perform a task related to the discipline of a student; (d) provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial.
Under FERPA, it is also your right as a student to authorize UNLV to release your student education records to a third party1. This can be done by filling out the Authorization to Release Confidential Information form.
1Third party could be anyone or any organization the student allows access to their educational records.
- Is there some way that I can block my information?
In accordance with UNLV policy and FERPA, UNLV vigorously protects the privacy of student education records. UNLV does not release private records of individual students, such as grades and class schedules, without prior written consent of the student. Complete the student directory form if you would like to restrict release of your information or in the MyUNLV system, go to Personal Information – other personal – Privacy settings.
Note: It is important to consider carefully the potential consequences of restricting the release of directory information. For example, if you restrict release for non-commercial educational purposes, UNLV will be unable to place your name in publications such as honors and graduation programs, to confirm graduation and dates of attendance to potential employers, to verify enrollment with organizations such as insurance companies or to send notifications about specialized scholarships.
- Who can I reach out to if I have questions or concerns?
Direct general questions and comments concerning FERPA and your rights covered under FERPA may be addressed to the Office of the Registrar or by calling 702-895-3443. You can also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
The Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20200-5901