Frequently Asked Questions for
What are my rights under FERPA?
Students have three primary rights under FERPA. You have the right to:
- Inspect and review your education records;
- Exercise some control over the disclosure of information from your education records, and
- Seek to amend your education records
When do my FERPA rights begin?
FERPA covers enrolled students. We consider students enrolled on the first day of the FIRST term when they begin taking classes. At this point, your admission records also become covered by FERPA.
What are "Education Records"?
Education records are records that are maintained by the university as part of the educational process. They do not include alumni records, records made by the campus police, or records made for employment, medical, or counseling purposes.
Who can access my confidential education records without my permission?
Northern Arizona University school officials may access your education records only where there is a demonstrated "legitimate educational interest". This includes faculty, administrative, clerical, and professional employees of Northern Arizona University.
What is "Directory Information"?
Directory Information is information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of a student’s privacy if disclosed. We have defined the following items as Directory Information:
- Address (local and permanent)
- E-mail address
- Telephone number
- Major field of study
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Dates of attendance (enrollment verification)
- Enrollment status (undergraduate or graduate, freshman, etc., full-time or part-time)
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- Institution most recently previously attended
- Your class schedule is not directory information.
What's the Solomon Amendment and how does it affect me? The Solomon Amendment to FERPA requires institutions to provide directory-type information on students at least 17 years of age who are registered for at least one credit, upon request from representatives of the Department of Defense, for military recruiting purposes.
Even if an institution has a policy of not releasing directory information under FERPA, it must still comply with requests for "student recruitment information" unless the student has formally requested the school to withhold directory information under FERPA to third parties. If you do not wish your information to be released, you must update the LOUIE system accordingly. (See the information below.)
What if I don't want my information released?
You can limit release of some or all of the above Directory Information by updating your student record in the LOUIE system. To change the release of your Directory Information, please select "Privacy Settings" in the drop down menu located in the "Personal Information" section of the Student Center in LOUIE.
This privacy setting will not expire; it will continue until you revoke it.
There may be times when, by law, Northern Arizona University is required to release this information. In these circumstances we will make every effort to notify you before your records are released to enable you to block the request if desired.
Will Restricting Directory Information have any adverse effects?
It may. If you decide to restrict Directory Information which you later wish to be released, please note that you will need to update your privacy settings in the LOUIE system prior to leaving Northern Arizona University. If you do not release those settings in the LOUIE system, this may mean:
- Your name will not appear in the commencement program or any press releases;
- A prospective employer, school, or insurance company will not be able to receive degree or enrollment verification;
- Your contact details will not be given to family members wishing to notify you of a serious illness or crisis in the family.
What rights do I have under FERPA?
FERPA covers the rights of the student to privacy.
But I'm the one paying the tuition! Surely I have a right to see my student's grades/class schedule/receive the bill!
There are three ways you may legally receive access to your student's education records from Northern Arizona University:
- Your student signs a FERPA release form granting you permission;
- You provide evidence that you claimed the student as a financial dependent on your most recent Federal Income Tax form;
- Through a lawfully-issued subpoena or court order.
Please remember that an institution is not required to disclose information, and may exercise discretion when doing so.
What if the student is still a minor?
When a student reaches the age of 18, or begins attending a post-secondary institution regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer to the student.
How can I learn how my student is doing?
The best approach is to ask your son or daughter directly. Communicating with young adults isn't always easy. Sometimes they are not as forthcoming as we would like. The college years, however, are a period of remarkable growth and maturation. The ability and willingness of students to share information and insights usually grows, especially as they acquire the confidence that comes with assuming greater responsibility for their own lives.