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FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's educational records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
34 CFR Part 99
If a student wishes to waive his or her rights under FERPA, a waiver must be filed with the Office of Academic Records. This form must be signed by the student and that signature must be notarized.
Privacy Waiver Form
Click HERE for additional information about Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act - 1974
The University of Tennessee at Martin also complies with the regulations set forth in the Solomon Amendment.
Notice to Students
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that gives students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives the student's request for access. To exercise this right, a student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes 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 University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student's right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The University discloses education records without a student's prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks; or a contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other outside party to whom the University has outsourced University services or functions that would otherwise be performed by University employees, the party is under the direct control of the University with respect to the use and maintenance of education records, and the party is subject to the same conditions governing the use and redisclosure of education records that apply to other school officials.
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 responsibilities to the University.
Upon request, the University may also disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of Tennessee at Martin to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:=
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
- The right to refuse to permit the disclosure of directory information except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Directory information is information contained in a student's education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. The University has designated the following as directory information:
- Telephone Number
- Major Field of Study
- Date and Place of Birth
- Participation in Officially Recognized Activities and Sports
- Weight and Height of Members of Athletic Teams
- Dates of Attendance
- Degrees and Awards Received
- Most Recent Previous School Attended
- Email Address
FERPA permits the University to disclose directory information without a student's consent unless a student, prior to the 14th day after the Semester begins, notifies the Office of Academic Records in writing of his or her desire to restrict directory information from being published.
Definitions and other information:
- a student "who is or has been in attendance" --begins when admitted to the university and includes face to face class, paper correspondence, video conference, satellite, internet, or other electronic information or telecommunications technologies.
- Disclosure--the university may attempt to confirm the authenticity of a transcript, letter of recommendation, or other record by sending the suspicious record back to the school official from whom the record supposedly originated. The school official may confirm or deny that the record is authentic and, if it is not, send the correct record. The institution is not required to notify the student that the institution suspects a document is fraudulent.
- Education Records--Does not include records that are: (1)created or received by the educational institution after an individual is no longer a student in attendance (2)not directly related to the individual's attendance as a student (3)peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by a teacher.
- Personally identifiable information--Student's name, student's parent or other family members, address of student or family, personal identifiers (such as ssn, student id number, biometric record, date of birth, place of birth, mother's maiden name, other information that a reasonable person in the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainty, information requested by a person who the educational agency or institution reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to whom the education record relates.
- De-Identified Records--The process of removing identifiable information from an education record in order to release the education record for research purposes (releases of de-identified information for the purpose of educational research may not contain information that can be aggregated in such a manner as to reveal the identities of students).
- School Officials Exception--School officials who have a legitimate educational interest in receiving the information may obtain personally identifiable information without the student's written consent.
- Outsourcing--Using contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other outside third-party agents to perform functions that would otherwise use employees to perform (who are under direct control of institution with respect to the use and maintenance of the education records and are subject to the same conditions governing the use and redisclosure of education records that apply to other school officials).
- Opt-Out Duration--Requests to "opt-out" of directory disclosures will be honored even after the student no longer attends the institution (request must have been made while in attendance; institution is not required to honor a request that the student rescinded).
- Students may not opt out of disclosures to prevent student's name, e-mail address, or other identifiers in a class in which the student is enrolled.
- Confirming Directory Information--Social Security numbers will not be used to identify students when disclosing or confirming directory information, unless the student has provided written consent.
- Requests for directory information that include ssn will not be honored unless the student has given written permission; if the record can be located without using the ssn, the institution will inform the party that ssn was not used and that the institution does not confirm the accuracy of the ssn supplied with the request.
- Reasonable methods will be taken to reduce access to Education Records.
- Student records will not be transferred to another school without student's written permission or proof (copy of application) that the student seeks to attend or is currently attending the other institution.
- Students who are the subject of a facially valid ex parte court order issued under the USA Patriot Act will not be notified of the release of student's education records.
- If third parties improperly re-disclose personally identifiable information obtained from the institution, they will not be permitted to access information from education records for a period of not less than five years.
- Education records are provided to organizations to conduct research on behalf of the university; however, the organization must sign a written agreement stating that they will comply with privacy laws (when possible information will be de-identified and direct identifiers will be removed).
- The institution will reasonably authenticate that the recipient of personally identifiable information is who they purport to be (name, date of birth, SSN, and student ID number are not considered reasonable).
FERPA Annual Notice to Reflect Possible Federal and State Data Collection and Use
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
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