Skip to content

About

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)



FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g and 34 CFR Part 99, also known as the Buckley Amendment, are federal laws and regulations that provide students with the following rights with respect to their education records:

  1. To inspect and review the student's education records;
  2. To consent to disclosure of the student's education records to third parties, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent;
  3. To request amendment of the student's education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA;
  4. To be notified of the student's privacy rights under FERPA; and
  5. To file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

It is the policy of The University of Texas at Arlington to protect the privacy and records access rights of its current and former students.

UT Arlington’s official FERPA policy statement is available in the Handbook of Operating Procedures (https://www.uta.edu/policy/hop/13-1100).    

Student Rights Under FERPA

At UT Arlington, FERPA rights apply to a student. A student is a person who has been admitted and is registered, regardless of the person's age. 

The University will not disclose education records or personally identifiable information from an education record without prior consent of the student to a third party, except as authorized by FERPA and its policies.

The University provides an Annual Notice to each enrolled student of his or her rights under FERPA, as well as the procedures for exercising these rights, information about the Directory Information Exception, and the process by which a student may elect to opt out of the release of the student's directory information.

Directory Information

The following information about a student has been designated by the University as Directory Information:

  1. Name
  2. Local and permanent postal addresses
  3. Email address
  4. Telephone number
  5. Place of birth
  6. Field of study
  7. Dates of attendance
  8. Enrollment status
  9. Student classification (example: freshman, graduate student, etc.)
  10. Degrees awarded
  11. Certificates and awards (including scholarships) received
  12. Photographs
  13. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  14. Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  15. Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended

The University may publish or publicly disclose directory information without the student's consent, unless the student, using MyMav, has notified the University that s/he wishes to opt out of such disclosures.  If no elections are made, UT Arlington will allow release of the student's directory information.

Any restriction will remain in effect until it is revoked.  UT Arlington allows former students to make changes to the disclosure status in effect at the time of their last term of attendance.      

OPTING OUT OF DIRECTORY INFORMATION

The University will consider a student's directory information to be publicly available unless the student affirmatively opts out of the directory information exception. If the student does not want the University to disclose directory information from his/her education records without prior written consent, the student must opt out in MyMav (www.uta.edu/mymav). 

Restricting your directory information will not impede participation in campus programs such as MAV Alert, with these exceptions:

  • Students who request restrictions to their record will not be included in the following:
    • Commencement program
    • Microsoft-hosted Student Email system (address book that allows student-to-student access)
    • UT Arlington web site “Find People”
    • UT Arlington printed Campus Directory “Maverick Connection”
    • Requests from external entities seeking directory information on UTA students whose requests are approved by the custodian of records for UT Arlington

Any restriction will remain in effect until you revoke it. UT Arlington allows former students to make changes to the disclosure status in effect at the time of their last term of attendance.

Your record is updated as soon as you make new elections or restrictions. However, to insure that all departments receive notification to restrict student directory information from being published in a printed directory or other report or publication, it is optimal to make changes to the record during the first twelve class days of the fall or spring semester, the first four class days of any summer term, or the first day of class for an intersession term. If changes are made to the FERPA restrictions page at other times, your information may be released based on the timing of the request.

If no elections are made, UT Arlington will allow release of your directory information. 

Setting Your Privacy Elections in MyMav

The University of Texas at Arlington recommends that you set or change your privacy settings by Census Date (during the first twelve class days of the fall or spring semester, the first four class days of any summer term, or the first day of class for an intersession term). You may change your privacy settings at any time, but information may be released or withheld between the deadline and receipt of the request. The Census Date is especially important because many reports are released on or around Census.

Only those elections made during the first twelve class days of the Fall term will be used in determining what data is and is not included in the UT Arlington printed directory “Maverick Connection” for that academic year.

To set your privacy elections in MyMav, go to your student center in www.uta.edu/mymav. Scroll down to Personal Information. Click on the User Preferences link. Click on FERPA Restrictions. Scroll down on the page to green button “Edit FERPA/Directory Restrictions” and click.  This will take you to the privacy selection page. You may choose to Restrict All Fields, Release All Restrictions or make your elections by item type.  If you do not make any elections and leave your elections blank, UT Arlington will assume you will allow release of your directory information.

Should you wish to release your name for publication in either the commencement booklet or the Maverick Connection (UT Arlington’s printed directory), you may indicate those preferences in the “Release to Publication” link next to the Primary Name category. More about these elections is below.  Your name will also be included in those publications if you select the “release all restrictions” setting.

If you elect to restrict any field, NONE OF YOUR FERPA INFORMATION will be released to any external source.

Inclusion in the Maverick Connection

The Maverick Connection is UTA’s printed phone directory.  It is produced by Student Congress and distributed campus-wide in the middle part of the fall term. Students' name (LNAME, FNAME), major, UTA email address and phone number are included in the directory.

Unless you actively indicate that you do not want your name included in the Maverick Connection, UT Arlington’s printed student, faculty and staff directory, it will be included.  The default setting in your User Preferences in the MyMav Student Center is "Release All." 

Your name will be included in the Maverick Connection if you select the “release all restrictions” setting on the FERPA restrictions page.

You may also indicate that you wish to release your name for publication in the Maverick Connection by selecting the “Release to Publication” link next to the Primary Name category.   To do so, scroll to the Names category and click Primary.  This will bring up a link, “Release to Publication.”  Once you click the link, it will bring up a box titled Publication Categories.  Click the down arrow and select Maverick Connection.  Click OK, then scroll to the bottom of the page and save.  You should get a confirmation message that the save was successful.  Click OK and you will be returned to the FERPA Restrictions page, where you should see a message listing the Commencement Booklet as a Restriction Exemption.

FERPA RESTRICTIONS

Under the regulations defined by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, you have chosen to restrict the following information from release.

Please note that unless otherwise indicated, this information will not be made available to any oral or written request nor will it appear in any publication.

MyMav screenshot

Students who have opted to restrict all directory information in MyMAV will not appear in Maverick Connection unless it is specified as explained above.  To insure that your name is included in the printed directory, you must make this change on or before Census Date for the fall term.

Instructions for navigation and how to self-verify that this change has been made (pdf)

Inclusion in the Commencement Booklet and the graduation edition of the shorthorn

For your name to be included in the souvenir commencement booklet and the graduation edition of the Shorthorn, you must insure that your privacy preference settings in MyMav are set to allow that inclusion. In addition to inclusion in these publications, your name will also be given to the University's official commencement photographer, the UT Arlington Bookstore, the Student Alumni Association and select other official commencement vendors who provide event products and services to graduates and their families.

You have three options for indicating your inclusion preference in MyMav.  Navigation to the privacy elections pages in MyMav (pdf).

Option 1: Release Restrictions on Name(s).

This option indicates that UT Arlington may release your name to external agencies, on request, as well as permit inclusion in the commencement booklet and as discussed above. 

Option 2:  Release All Restrictions.

This option indicates that UT Arlington may release any or all of your directory information as well as permit inclusion in the commencement booklet and as discussed above.  For a listing of directory information, click on the Directory Information link on this page.

Option 3: Designate Primary Name as Releasable for Specified Publication. 

This option indicates that UT Arlington may release your name for publication in the commencement booklet, the graduation edition of The Shorthorn, and given to the official commencement vendors and associations, but not to other external publications, vendors, associations or agencies that are not affiliated with the UT Arlington commencement event, unless you provide your written permission. 

Instructions for navigation and how to self-verify that your preferences have been made (pdf)

The Restriction Exception field in MyMav is shown below:

MyMav screenshot

Students who have opted to restrict all directory information in MyMAV will not appear in the printed commencement program unless the commencement program is specified as explained above.

To insure that your name is included in the printed booklet that is distributed at each ceremony, we recommend that you make this change no later than at the time you apply for graduation.

 When Disclosure is Permitted Without Prior Consent of the Student

FERPA permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) from students' education records without consent of the student if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in Section 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to University Officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information and disclosures to the student, Section 99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.

The University Official exception permits disclosure without consent and disclosure to University Officials with legitimate educational interests. A University Official is:

  • Any person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position, including law enforcement unit and health staff;
  • A person or company with whom the University has a contract to provide services on behalf of the University or an affiliation (such as a System attorney or auditor, or a clinical facility where a student is participating in an internship) for the provision of services;
  • A member of the University of Texas System Board of Regents; or
  • A person employed by The University of Texas System Administration; or another person assisting another University Official in performing his or her tasks (such as a System attorney or auditor, or a clinical facility where a student is participating in an internship).

A University Official has a "legitimate educational interest" in an education record if that person or contractor requires access an education record in order to fulfill his or her official duties on behalf of the University.

The University may also disclose PII from a student's education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student in the following situations as permitted by FERPA:

  • To officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled if the disclosure relates to purposes of enrollment or transfer.
  • To The University of Texas Board of Regents, the Comptroller General of the United States, the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of Education and other state and local educational authorities who are authorized by law to audit and evaluate Federal or State supported education programs, or to enforce Federal law which relates to such education programs may access an Education Record as required for the audit, evaluation or enforcement purpose, or their authorized representatives.
  • To organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the school to: develop, validate, or administer predictive testing; administer student aid programs; or improve instruction.
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out accrediting functions.
  • To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes and the student has notified the University that the student agrees to the release of his/her education records under this exception.
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
  • To appropriate individuals in connection with a health or safety emergency.
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense.
  • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and has committed a violation of the school's rules or policies with respect to the allegation.
  • To parents of a student regarding the student's violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines that the student committed a disciplinary violation and is under the age of 21.
  • If the disclosure concerns sex offenders and other individuals required to register under section 17010 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.
  • Under the Directory Information exception as explained above.
  • To defend the University against litigation or complaints filed by the student against the University.

For additional information on exceptions to the consent requirement, see the UT Arlington Handbook of Operating Procedures.

Research papers, theses, and dissertations authored by students are available to interested members of the public.

FERPA and Parents

Once the student attains the age of 18 or attends an institution of higher education, regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer from the parent to the student.  Under FERPA, parents have no inherent rights of access to their students' education records. 

Students can give express written permission for their parents' access to their education record by completing the Student Release of Information Form online. Once receieved, the Office of Admissions, Records and Registration will add a positive service indicator (PRI) to indicate that a release form is on file. For more information, click here.

Records may be released to parents without a signed consent from the student under certain exceptions.  These include:

  • In a health or safety emergency.
  • Where the student has violated a law or the school’s policies governing alcohol or substance abuse, if the student is under 21 years old.
  • By submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form.

Parents who wish to access their student's education records without the express written permission of the student may provide a copy of the previous year's tax form demonstrating that the student is a dependent for tax purposes to the Office of Records, University of Texas at Arlington, Room 129 Davis Hall. Income data on the tax record can be redacted. 

In a legal separation or divorce situation, biological parents have equal standing as custodial parents to gain access to the student’s education records.

Parents of Dual-Credit Students

For parents of dual-credit students:  Students who are enrolled in both high school and courses at a postsecondary institution provide a unique situation.  While the rights under FERPA belong to the parents with respect to high school records, they belong to the student with respect to the postsecondary records.  In this case, FERPA's provisions allowing disclosure of information to parents of students who are dependents for income tax purposes would apply, allowing the postsecondary institution to share grades and other information from the student's education records with parents upon presentation of income tax records demonstrating the student is a tax dependent.  Students can give express written permission for their parents' access to their education record by completing the Student Release of Information Form and submitting it with UTA identification to the Office of Admissions, Records and Registration, Room 129 Davis Hall. 

Additionally, the high school and postsecondary institution may share information from records of dual-enrolled students. 

UT Arlington strongly encourages parents of dual-credit students to respect the student's ownership of his or her education record at the college level and seek ways to gain that information while safeguarding the student's rights and responsibilities.  Faculty teaching dual-credit courses will make every attempt to communicate with and through the student, as an important maturation point for college students.

For parents in the State U dual-credit program, we ask that parent communication is made first with the student; then, in rare instances, with the instructor.  Academic coaches are not an appropriate source for information related to students' records.

Additional UT Arlington Business Practices Related to FERPA

It is the policy of UT Arlington that it will maintain the FERPA disclosure code in effect at the time of a student's last term of enrollment for former students. Furthermore, the University will honor a request from a former student, not re-enrolled, to change a privacy election. FERPA protection excludes records that contain information about an individual after he or she is no longer a student.

FERPA rights cease upon death. However, it is the policy of UT Arlington that no records of deceased students be released for a period of 25 years after the date of the student’s death, unless specifically authorized by the executor of the deceased's estate or by next of kin. The University notifies students annually of their FERPA rights through the online undergraduate and graduate catalogs and by annual email notification.

A Note on Email

Email was added to UT Arlington's directory-type information effective Fall 2008.  However, this does not mean that your email address may be used for spamming purposes by outside entities.  Such use of University-issued email addresses is, in fact, prohibited.  The Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas have the force of law and prohibit any form of commercial and non-commercial solicitation on campus, including email.  UT Arlington will issue a cease-and-desist order to violators.  Outside sources are prohibited from sending email to addresses that are obtained from the University unless you, as the recipient, have specifically requested information from that source.

FERPA Resources

Relevant Federal and State Statutes

Relevant UT System Policies, Procedures and Forms

Requesting Review of Records

  • To request a review of your records, contact the Office of Admissions, Records, and Registration, UTA Box 19088, Arlington, TX  76109; Shannon Williams, Director of Student Services; direct 817/272-6105; swilliams@uta.edu.