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Office of the Registrar

FERPA Scenario Q&A

Question:  You receive a telephone call from the local police department indicating that the police are trying to determine whether a particular student was in attendance on a specific day.  Because the police are in the middle of an investigation, are you allowed to give them this information?

Answer: No. Because the request is from a third party outside of the University, the police should be directed to the Dean of Students' Office or the Office of the Registrar.

* General Rule: Information about whether a student was enrolled during a particular term is directory information and can be obtained through the Office of the Registrar. If the police require more information, a subpoena may be required. Additionally, FERPA and UW Regulation 8-243 requires notification of the student unless it is specifically stated on a subpoena that the student must not be notified.

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