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FERPA

Office of the Registrar

FERPA Faculty and Staff Information

FERPA Scenario Questions

FERPA Tips on Managing Student Records

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (also known as the Buckley Amendment), affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Specifically, it affords students the right to:

1. inspect and review their education records;

2. request the amendment of inaccurate or misleading records;

3. consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education record; and

4. file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures of the institution to comply with this law.

The University of Wyoming strives to fully comply with this law by protecting the privacy of student records and judiciously evaluating requests for release of information from these records. FERPA authorizes the release of "Directory Information" without the student's prior written consent under certain conditions set forth in the Act.

What is "Directory Information?

Directory information is information contained in an education record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Following guidelines provided by the FERPA Compliance Office, UW defines the following as Directory Information:

  • Name
  • Affirmation of whether currently enrolled
  • School, college, department, major
  • Dates of enrollment
  • Full or part-time status
  • Degrees received
  • Honors received
  • Local address and phone number
  • Permanent address and phone number
  • Email address
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams

Under the Wyoming Public Records Act, the Office of the Registrar is required to release directory information as requested.

Can students control disclosure of  "Directory Information"?

Yes, students are notified of their right to control the disclosure of "Directory Information" in the fall and spring Class Schedules and the General Bulletin. Students who wish to have access to their Directory Information restricted must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing. They may complete a Confidentiality of Student Records form available in the registrar's office or complete the "Request for Privacy" form found online. Upon receipt of this signed form, a Privacy Flag will be placed on the student's record. A Privacy Flag means that a student's name will not appear in the Campus Directory, and will not be included in any news release (honor rolls, graduation, etc.) Information will also not be released to prospective employers, insurance companies, credit agencies, etc. If anyone requests information for a student or former student who has a Privacy Flag, UW will respond to the requestor with the following statement: "We do not have any information available on that individual."

While a Privacy Flag may be placed on a student's record at any time, the request form must be received in the Office of the Registrar no later than the tenth working day of the fall semester in order to prevent publication in the printed Campus Directory.

Students may remove their Privacy Flag at any time by submitting a signed request to the Office of the Registrar.

How does FERPA apply to faculty and staff?

The law requires faculty and staff to treat students' education records in a legally specified manner.

  • Grades:  Students' scores or grades may be displayed publicly only if names are obscured and a code known only to the faculty member and the individual student (W numbers cannot be used). In no case should the list be posted in alphabetical sequence by student name. Grades, transcripts or CAPP degree audits distributed for purposes of advisement should not be placed in plain view in open mailboxes located in public places.
    Papers:  Graded papers or tests should not be left unattended on a desk in plain view in a public area nor should students sort through them in order to retrieve their own work.
  • Class rosters/grade sheets:  These and other reports should be handled in a confidential manner and the information contained on them should not be disclosed to third parties. Copies of class rosters containing students' SS#s should not be used in the classroom for attendance taking or any other purpose.
  • Parents:  Parents, spouses and other relations do not have a right to information contained in a student's education record.
  • Employers:  Employers do not have a right to educational information pertaining to a student.
  • Banner:  Access to the Banner or WyoWeb is not tantamount to authorization to view the data. Faculty are deemed to be "school officials" and can access data in Banner/WyoWeb if they have a legitimate educational interest. UW staff members may obtain access if they have a legitimate educational need to know. A legitimate educational interest exists if the staff member needs to view the education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Neither curiosity nor personal interest is a legitimate educational "need to know."
  • Letters of recommendation:  Do not include information about students' grades or grade point averages in letters of recommendation without the written permission of the student.
  • Students' schedules: Do not provide anyone with a student's schedule; do not assist anyone other than a university employee in finding a student on campus. Refer such inquiries to the Dean of Students' Office.
  • Lists of students: Do not provide anyone with lists of students enrolled in your classes for any commercial purpose. Requests of this nature should be referred to the Office of the Registrar.
  • When in doubt, contact the Office of the Registrar for guidance at 766-5724.

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Contact Us

Office of the Registrar

Department 3964

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-5272

Fax: (307) 766-3960

Email: registrar@uwyo.edu

Lane Buchanan, Registrar

Erin Olson, Associate Registrar

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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