Graduate Catalog 2021-2022

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

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 http://www.unco.edu/registrar/ferpa.aspx for "eligible student" definition.

  1. The right to inspect and review information contained in the student's educational records.

    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.
  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

    Any student who believes that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading or is otherwise in violation of privacy or other rights or who believes that their records have been or are being maintained or processed in violation of privacy or other rights, may discuss their concerns informally with the Registrar's Office. If the decision of that person is in agreement with the student's request, the appropriate records shall be amended and the student shall be notified in writing of the amendment(s). If the decision is not in agreement, the student shall be notified within thirty (30) calendar days that the records will not be amended and the student shall be notified by the official of the student's right to a hearing.

    Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  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. 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.

    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.

    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.
  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: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.

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 Office of the Registrar.

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:

  • Category I: Name, address(es), e-mail address, birth date, telephone number(s), dates of attendance, classification, and enrollment status.
  • 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.
  • Category III: Past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, physical factors of athletes (height and weight).

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.

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:

  • Student name
  • Student address and phone number (including local mailing and permanent addresses)
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Dates of attendance
  • Full or part-time enrollment; registered credits for the current term
  • Student classification
  • Major field of study
  • Degrees pursued or being pursued
  • Degree conferred and dates
  • Honors, awards and publications
  • Most recently attended educational institution
  • Participation in officially recognized sports and activities, past and present
  • Physical factors of athletes

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.