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Florida International University (FIU) maintains Student education records in a confidential and secure manner in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) codified in 20 U.S.C. section 1232g, and sections 1002.225 and 1006.52, Florida Statutes.  The University will not release or permit access to education records or personally identifiable information maintained on a student except as otherwise permitted by law and FIU Regulation 108 – Access to Student Education Records.    

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law that protects the privacy of a student’s educational record. FERPA applies to all educational institutions receiving funds from the United States Department of Education, from kindergarten through university level.

At FIU, the privacy of student records is also protected by University Regulation (FIU-108).

The U.S. Department of Education and Florida law summarizes the rights afforded to students by FERPA as follow:

  • The right to inspect and review educational records within a reasonable period of time and within 45 calendar days after the institution has received the request
  • The right to request to amend inaccuracies in educational records
  • The right to limit disclosure of some personally identifiable information
  • The right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office if FERPA rights have been violated. 

File A Complaint

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The contact information of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC  20202-5920

FERPA.Complaints@ed.gov

In addition, any violations of FERPA should be reported to the FIU University Registrar at ferpa@fiu.edu or confidentially reported to the Ethical Panther Line by visiting compliance.fiu.edu/hotline


What is Protected?

FERPA protects the privacy of a student’s educational record. Education Records are any records maintained by the University and its Agents that contain information directly related to a student or applicant. A record is any information or data recorded in any medium, including, but not limited to handwriting, print, or digital/electronic, USB drives, or cloud storage.

Examples of an education record include, but are not limited to:

  • Biographical information including date and place of birth, gender, nationality, information about race and ethnicity, and identification photographs
  • Grades, test scores, evaluations, courses taken, academic specialization and activities, and official communications regarding your status
  • Coursework including papers and exams, class schedules, as well as written email or recorded communications that are part of the academic process
  • Disciplinary records
  • Financial aid and financial aid records, including employment records that are dependent on the status as a student (ex: Federal Work-Study, student interns, teaching assistants). 
  • Internship program records
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) records and Student Health records are also governed by FERPA and state privacy laws

 Education records do not include:

  • Sole possession records that are used only as memory aids and not shared with others
  • Law enforcement unit records
  • Employment records, unless the employment is dependent on the employee’s status as a student (such as evaluations of graduate assistants)
  • Records that only contain information about an individual after he or she is no longer a student at that agency or institution

What Can Be Disclosed?

Directory information is the information available about a student that is not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. While FERPA and state law protect the privacy of educational records, directory information is not treated as confidential and may be disclosed by the university without student consent unless the student has placed a FERPA block via their MyFIU on their student account.

At FIU, the following has been designated as directory information:

  1. Student name
  2. Student classification and major and minor fields of study
  3. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  4. Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  5. Dates of attendance, degrees and awards received
  6. The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
  7. Photographic image 

Additionally, certain records such as law enforcement records and alumni records that are not education records may be disclosed without the student's consent.  Education records may be disclosed in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.

Delegated Access

Delegated Access is a way you can share your protected student information. You can allow another person to access parts of your FERPA protected record to pay for your classes, set up a payment plan, view your financial aid information, your academic record and more. To release your student information to a third party to pay for your tuition, see Third-Party Billing.

How to Place or Release a FERPA Block

  1. Log into MyFIU. See Access MyFIU for help. 
  2. Select 'Profile,' then 'Privacy Restrictions.'
  3. Select a specific item from the list of information and then check the 'Restricted' box. Then click the 'Save' button.
  4. Click the 'Restrict All' button to restrict all of a certain category of information.
  5. Uncheck a specific item or click the 'Clear All' button to remove a privacy restriction.
  6. Make adjustments by checking off any preferred blocks.
  7. Click on "Save" button at the top right when selections have been completed.
  8. Students may also authorize in writing the release or non-disclosure of their education records via the FERPA form.

FERPA Notice for Graduating Students

Students who have a FERPA restriction on their records will be excluded from the Commencement Booklet and any Virtual Commencement Ceremonies.  Should you wish to be included, you must remove any restriction prior to the last day to apply for graduation for the term.  Your FERPA restriction may be removed on-line through your MyFIU account by the deadline to apply for graduation for the term.  Please check the Academic Calendar for specific deadline dates.

You may also visit the FIU FERPA website for more information.

How to release FERPA Restrictions for Commencement Booklet and Commencement Ceremony

  1. Login to my.fiu.edu and click on the Profile tile.Image telling graduating students how to release FERPA Restrictions. 1. Login to my.fiu.edu and click on the Profile tile.
  2. Click on the Privacy Restrictions link on the left menu pane. gradstudentferpa2
  3. Click on the FIU Degree option.
  4. Click on the Clear All button to clear all restrictions under FIU and Click on the Save button on the left upper corner.Image showing graduate students how to clear FERPA hold. 3. Click on the FIU Degree option. 4. Click on the Clear All button to clear all restrictions under FIU and Click on Save button on left upper corner.
  5. Repeat steps 3 to 5 for FIU Degree, FIU Academic Program, Names and Photograph.Image showing graduate students how to release FERPA restrictions. 5. Repeat the steps 3 to 5 for FIU Degree, FIU Academic Program, Names and Photograph.

FERPA Form

This form allows the student to authorize their parent, legal guardian, or other third party, access to the student's financial or educational records.

Download FERPA Form

Last updated: September 28, 2020