FERPA for Students and Parents

Protecting the Privacy of Student Records

While academic, counseling and disciplinary records all constitute education records, they are maintained separately at the University of Florida. The Registrar's Office maintains students' academic records. To review other records, such as counseling or disciplinary, please contact the relevant department or unit or the Office of the University General Counsel (123 Tigert Hall; 352-392-1358.) If a student wants access to his/her academic record, they must complete a Request to Review Academic Record and submit it to the Office of the University Registrar in 222 Criser Hall. If the student chooses to fax or mail the form, it must include his/her notarized hand written signature, along with a copy of their federal or state ID. Within 10 business days, the Office of the University Registrar will set up an appointment for the student to view the requested record.

UF is not required to permit students to inspect and review the following:

  • Financial information submitted by parents
  • Confidential letters of recommendation filed before January 1, 1975
  • Confidential letters of recommendation filed after January 1, 1975 to which a student waived his/her right to inspect

Note: If an education record contains information about more than one student, a student may access only the part of the record that pertains to him/her.

Yes, the student can still have the right to view the contents of his/her record. However, the university is not required to provide official transcripts until the debt is paid (except for official bankruptcy, if a student's debts are discharged).

Grades are never released over the phone. Students may obtain grade information by:

  • Logging on to ONE.UF to view grades,
  • Requesting a transcript from the Office of the University Registrar, or
  • Coming to the Office of the University Registrar's Information Counter in 222 Criser with a picture ID

In certain instances, the law does not require the university to obtain the student's consent before disclosing information from his/her education record. All disclosures to third parties without student consent are maintained as a part of the student's education record. The most common examples of disclosures that do not require a student's consent include:

  • Disclosures to school officials with a legitimate educational interest
  • Disclosures to other institutions where the student seeks to enroll or is enrolled
  • Disclosures in connection with the receipt of financial aid (validating eligibility)
  • Disclosures to state/local officials in conjunction with legislative requirements
  • Disclosures to organizations conducting studies to improve instruction, or to accrediting organizations
  • Disclosures to parents of dependent students
  • Disclosures to parents of dependent students in which the student has drug and/or alcohol violations that have occurred twice in one semester or three times during enrollment, regardless of how much time elapses between violations. If a student is hospitalized as a result of drug or alcohol use, the Dean of Students Office may inform his/her parents if doing so is necessary to protect the studentÂ’s health or safety. This policy is outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. All questions related to this policy should be directed to the Dean of Students Office (202 Peabody Hall; 352-392-1261).
  • Disclosures in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
  • Disclosures for a health/safety emergency
  • Disclosures of information from disciplinary proceedings to the alleged victims of violent crimes or sexual offenses
  • Disclosures of name, sanction and outcome of disciplinary proceedings (public information), only when found in violation, and only for crimes of violence

Under FERPA, when a student reaches 18 years of age or enroll at a postsecondary institution such as the University of Florida, the rights afforded to the parents of a student automatically transfer to the student. However, a parent still may have access to the education record if:

  • The information requested is directory information and there is no privacy hold on the student's record.
  • The student provides a signed release to the university. The student may specify what information should be released, including the timeframe for the authorization to remain in effect. Additional authentication of the student's signature may be required.
  • The parents can demonstrate that the student is a dependent, as defined by the IRS.
  • The information is released in response to a lawful subpoena. (As a courtesy, UF will make a reasonable attempt to notify the student of disclosures to the student's parents or in response to a subpoena. The student should ensure that he/she has a current address on file, or such notification will not reach him/her.)

To establish that your son/daughter is your dependent, you must demonstrate that the student in question was claimed as a dependent on your most recent tax return. If you do not claim the student as your dependent, you may access directory information only, providing there is no privacy hold on the student's record.

To access your son or daughter's academic record, you must have the Office of the University Registrar (222 Criser Hall; 352-392-1374) mail or fax you a Parent's Request for Nondirectory Information Release. You must provide the completed form and a copy of the first and last page of your most recent federal income tax return.

In order for these documents to support a claim of dependency, the first page must list the student as your dependent and the last page must be signed and dated; you can omit other financial information. The consent form and tax return will be imaged as part of the student's permanent education record. The IRS documentation must be provided annually for the university to continue to recognize the student as your dependent.

As long as the underage student is enrolled at the university, a parent has no right to access their student's academic record, unless the parent provides the appropriate documentation of the student's dependent status.

Both parents have equal rights to the student's record, unless there is a court order or legally binding document stating otherwise. Generally either parent can obtain access as long as one parent provides IRS documentation of the student's dependent status. If this is not possible and the parent who does not claim the student still wishes to have access, a court order will be necessary.

If all legal requirements are met, the individual listed on the power of attorney will be treated in the same manner as would the student. Unless there is a stated expiration date, the power of attorney does not expire.

Students may prevent the release of directory information to third parties by placing a privacy hold on their academic record. Only current students may request privacy holds; once a student graduates or leaves UF, they cannot request a privacy hold. Once a privacy hold is in place, the student must transact all university business in person with photo identification. The privacy hold will expire only when the student requests its removal in writing, regardless of withdrawal, graduation or death. To place a privacy hold, the student would go to the Registrar Information Counter in 222 Criser Hall and complete a Restriction of Directory Information. Directory information is still available to UF employees with legitimate educational interest, and in other situations where consent is not required by law.

To access directory information, the student would log on to the my.ufl portal with his/her GatorLink username and password and follow the prompts. The student can choose which elements he/she wishes to restrict from the directory, leaving some and deleting others.

Yes. UF will provide access to directory and nondirectory information in your child's academic record if you are able to provide IRS documentation that the child is your dependent. The university also will make a reasonable effort to notify the child that you requested and received access to the record.

Enrollment verification may include directory and/or nondirectory information. If nondirectory information is provided, student consent is required. There are several options that may allow a parent access to enrollment verification for insurance purposes:

  • Insurance companies, parents and students can obtain enrollment verification directly from the National Student Clearinghouse, the university's authorized agent.
  • The student may request an enrollment verification for their or have it mailed to them.
  • Generally, if the student was claimed as a dependent on the parent's most recent tax return, the parent can gain access to the grades, provided there are no other extenuating circumstances that supercede or limit the parent's right to access this record. To do so, the parent must complete a Parent's Request for Nondirectory Information Release and provide a copy of the first and last page of their most recent tax return. The first page must list the parent's student as a dependent and the last page must be signed and dated. Financial information may be omitted.

    Information about grades are never provided over the phone. A parent may personally request a transcript after they provide appropriate documentation to the Office of the University Registrar that indicates the student is their dependent. The charge is $6.00 per transcript for current students.

    No. Even if it's an emergency, the Office of the University Registrar cannot provide a parent with the child's class schedule, since student schedules are not considered directory information at UF. The parent should contact the Dean of Students Office (202 Peabody Hall; 352-392-1261) for assistance.

    If a student believes his/her education record is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of his/her right to privacy, the student may ask that such information be removed or amended. Please note: The right to request amendment of the academic record does not apply to challenging a grade.

    Persons who applied for admission are protected when they pay their tuition deposit or when they initially register at the University of Florida.

    FERPA rights for admitted students begin when they are considered to be in attendance at UF.

    Students who have graduated or who no longer attend UF have the same FERPA rights as current students with regard to disclosure of and access to their UF education records. Privacy holds cannot be requested after graduation.

    Upon the death of a student, his or her education record will remain confidential. Records of deceased students maintained by the O.U.R. will be released only to the executor or executrix of the student's estate or to the student's next of kin, upon submission of appropriate documentation.