Undergraduate Catalog 2024-2025

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The University maintains an educational record for each student who is or has been enrolled at the University. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, the following student rights are covered by the Act and afforded to all eligible students at the University. See www.unco.edu/registrar/ferpa.aspx for "eligible student" definition.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. An eligible student under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a post-secondary institution. Each of these rights with any limitations or exceptions is explained in the University's policy statement, a copy of which may be obtained from the Registrar's Office. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review information contained in the student's educational records within 45 days after the day the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) receives your request for access.
    1. Students should submit to the Office of the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Office of the Registrar, we will advise you of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request amendment of the contents of the student's educational records if believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights.
    1. If you believe that your record contains inaccurate or misleading information, you may submit the Request to Amend or Remove Education Records form to the Office of the Registrar clearly identifying the part of your record that you want amended and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
    2. If your request to amend your record is denied by the Office of the Registrar, we will notify you in writing of the decision and your right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. This will include instructions on submitting the Request for Formal Hearing to Amend or Remove Education Records form to the Office of the Registrar.
    3. If you disagree with the Hearing Panel's decision, you have the right to place in your record a written statement commenting on the information in the record and/or stating your reasons for disagreeing with the decision. This explanation will become part of your education record as long as the record is maintained and whenever a copy of your record is sent to any party, the explanation will accompany it.
    4. FERPA was intended to require only that schools conform to fair recordkeeping practices and not to override the accepted standards and procedures for making academic assessments, disciplinary rulings, or placement determinations. Thus, while FERPA affords you the right to seek to amend education records which contain inaccurate information, this right cannot be used to challenge a grade or an individual's opinion, or a substantive decision made by a school about you. Additionally, if FERPA's amendment procedures are not applicable to your request for amendment of education records, UNC is not required under FERPA to hold a hearing on the matter.
  3. The right to prevent disclosure without consent, with certain exceptions, of personally identifiable information from the student's educational records. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.
    1. A school official is a person employed by the University of Northern Colorado in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the University of Northern Colorado who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing their tasks.
      1. A school official has a legitimate educational interest in information contained in a student’s education records if the information is necessary for that official to perform a task within the scope of their responsibilities that relates to the student or to the management and administration of education at the University of Northern Colorado. The information is to be used within the context of official University business and not for purposes extraneous to the official’s areas of responsibility or to the University.
      2. Legitimate educational interests would include teaching, research, public service, and such directly supportive activities as academic advising, general counseling, therapeutic counseling, discipline, vocational counseling and job placement, financial assistance and advisement, medical services, safety, raising endowment in support of student scholarships, and academic programs and academic assistance activities.
    2. Each of these rights with any limitations or exceptions is explained in the University's policy statement, a copy of which may be obtained from the Registrar's Office.
    3. The University may provide “Directory Information” in accordance with the provisions of the Act without the written consent of an eligible student unless it is requested in writing that such information not be disclosed (see below). The items listed below are designated as Directory Information and may be released about any student for any purpose at the discretion of the University unless a written request for nondisclosure is on file:
      1. Category I: Name, address(es), e-mail address, birth date, telephone number(s), dates of attendance, classification, and enrollment status.
      2. Category II: The most recent institution attended, major field of study, honors, awards and publications, degree(s) conferred and conferred date(s), degrees pursued or being pursued.
      3. Category III: Past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, physical factors of athletes (height and weight).
      4. Currently enrolled students may prohibit general disclosure of this Directory Information by notifying the Office of the Registrar in writing within 10 calendar days after the first scheduled class-day of each fall term. The University will honor the request until the student notifies the Office of the Registrar in writing of intent to allow release of Directory Information. The student should carefully consider the consequences of any decision to withhold Directory Information. Regardless of the effect upon the student, the University assumes no liability that may arise out of its compliance with a request that such information be withheld. It will be assumed that the failure on the part of a student to request the withholding of Directory Information indicates the student's consent to disclosure.
      5. Directory Information - FERPA directory information is information contained in in your education record that generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Under current UNC policy, the following information is designated as directory information:
        1. Student name
        2. Student address and phone number (including local mailing and permanent addresses)
        3. Email address
        4. Date of birth
        5. Dates of attendance
        6. Full or part-time enrollment; registered credits for the current term
        7. Student classification
        8. Major field of study
        9. Degrees pursued or being pursued
        10. Degree conferred and dates
        11. Honors, awards, and publications
        12. Most recently attended educational institution
        13. Participation in officially recognized sports and activities, past and present
        14. Physical factors of athletes
        15. Photos and videos taken or maintained by the university
      6. Directory information may be disclosed through a variety of methods including, but not limited to, paper, electronic, voice and other means. Any questions concerning the student's rights and responsibilities under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act should be referred to the Office of the Registrar.
  4. The right to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the provisions of the Act. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

U.S. Department of Education,
Student Privacy Policy Office,
400 Maryland Avenue S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520.