FERPA and Student Privacy
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
As an employee of UCLA, some of the work you do may involve access to information about students or student records that are considered confidential and not available to the public. This information is designed to inform you of your responsibility to respect the confidentiality of student and department records, to protect student privacy, and to act in a professional manner when interacting with the public, in person, or over the phone.
If you are found acting indiscreetly with confidential information or not protecting the privacy of a student, you may be disciplined or dismissed from your job. These actions are necessary to maintain high professional standards and the integrity of the University, and to ensure compliance with the Family
Students have three primary rights under FERPA:
- The right to inspect and review education records within 45 days of the day the institution receives a request for access
- The right to seek an amendment to their education records if students believe them to be inaccurate or misleading
- The right to have some control over the disclosure of information from those educational records
The release or disclosure of student information requires the signed written consent of the student (or the student's consent through URSA). However, FERPA specifies that education officials and agents of the institution with a legitimate need to know may have access to education records.
UCLA, in accordance with Federal and State laws and University policies, offers students the option of withholding some or all of their public information. The following categories are considered public information and may be released to the public if the student does not apply privacy options:
- mailing address and telephone
- permanent address and telephone
- official e-mail address
- dates of attendance
- units enrolled
- degrees and honors received
- most recent previous educational institution attended
- participation in officially recognized activities, including intercollegiate athletics, and the name, weight, and height of participants on intercollegiate athletic teams
Phone/Address Privacy Option and E-Mail Privacy Option
As a matter of practice, UCLA does not publish student addresses or phone numbers in the UCLA Campus Directory unless released by the student. UCLA publishes student e-mail addresses in the UCLA Campus Directory, but offers students the option of withholding this information from the directory. When the student restricts any of these pieces of information a notation that reads ‘DO NOT RELEASE’ is displayed on the SAS or SAD screens (in OASIS) adjacent to the restricted information.
Public Information Privacy Option
UCLA gives students the option of withholding all public information, including name, from being released to the public or published in the campus directory or in commencement publications. Students must apply the Public Information Privacy Option to withhold all public information. When a student applies the Public Information Privacy Option a notation that reads ‘PUB INFO RESTRICTION’ is displayed in the upper right corner of the OASIS screens. If an inquiry is received, University staff must state: This person has requested that this information is not released to the public. No information may be released over the telephone, even if the student is the caller.
The FERPA Restriction is the most severe of all the privacy options and overrides all other privacy options. No information about the student may be released for any reason. When a student has a FERPA Restriction a notation that reads ‘FERPA RESTRICTION’ is displayed in the upper right corner of the OASIS screens. If an inquiry is received University staff must state: We have no information available for this person. You must not imply that the person is a student or that you have any information about the person. No information may be released over the telephone, even if the student is the caller.
The UCLA Registrar’s Office provides a 12-point tutorial designed to give you a better understanding of the confidentiality rights that apply to student education records. You may study the tutorial before taking the FERPA Quiz or at any time.
UCLA Policy 220: Disclosure of Information from Student Records is located on the UCLA Administrative Policies and Procedures web site.
To schedule an in-person FERPA training session, please contact Brenda Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FERPA questions can be directed to Valerie Romero at email@example.com.