Overview of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Privacy of Academic Records
The university policy on confidentiality of educational records conforms to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (20 U.S.C. 1232g), commonly referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment, and is described in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs under Privacy.
Except as provided by law, the university will not release personally identifiable information from a student’s educational records without the student’s prior consent. The university may release, however, personally identifiable information designated as “directory information” unless the student informs the Office of Records and Registration in writing that directory information should not be released without written consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel); a person, company or agency with whom the university has contracted to provide services to the university community (such as the student health insurance provider); or a student serving on an official committee (such as a judicial hearing board) or assisting school officials in the performance of their tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Directory information at the University of Baltimore includes the following:
- Student's name
- Student’s home city and state
- Degree sought and time
- Major/minor fields of study
- College of major and year (freshman, sophomore, etc.)
- Enrollment status (full-time/part-time) including credit hours
- Dates of attendance
- Degrees, awards and honors conferred
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
- Fraternity/sorority and honor societies
All other information not specifically listed, including grades, courses, days and times of course meetings, withdrawals and academic standing, cannot be disclosed without a student’s permission.
Request to Withhold Directory InformationAccording to FERPA, while still enrolled, a student can request that the institution not release any directory information about him/her. At UB, students who wish to restrict the release of directory information about themselves must complete a “Request to Withhold Directory Information” form prior to the start of each semester. Forms are available at the Office of Records & Registration, Academic Center 126, or by accessing this link: Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information Form. The completed form must be submitted in person or by fax to the registrar’s office and must be accompanied by photo identification or faxed copy thereof (Office of Records & Registration fax number: 410.837.4820). The restriction will remain in effect until the student withdraws the request.
Open and complete communication by a student with their family is important to the success of that student. We encourage students to share information about their experiences, their classes and their grades with their parents and other significant family members. We also remind parents that college is a time for students to continue to learn responsibility and show accountability for their activities on campus.
Under FERPA and UB policy, at the post-secondary educational level parents have no inherent rights of access to their student’s academic records. Information from educational records may be released to parents only if the student has signed the Record Release Form, a written release giving the parent(s) access to a specific record, or in compliance with a lawfully issued subpoena.
The FERPA policy can be found in its entirety at the U.S. Department of Education website.