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What is FERPA?

The 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 20 U.S.C. 1232(g), as amended, 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 Florida International University, the privacy of academic records is also protected by University Regulation (FIU-108) and Section 1002.22 of the Florida Statutes.

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 their educational records within a reasonable period of time and no more than 30 days after the institution has received the request
  • The right to request to amend inaccuracies in their educational records
  • The right to limit disclosure of some personally identifiable information
  • The rights to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office if they feel their 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 name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

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

 


What is Protected?

FERPA protects the privacy of a student’s educational record. An education record is any record directly related to a student that is maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting for the agency or institution.

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
  • Internship program records

 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)
  • Medical and mental health records used only for the treatment of the student and disclosed only to those individuals providing treatment
  • 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:

  • Name, local and permanent address, and telephone number(s)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Student classification and major and minor fields of study
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Dates of attendance, degrees and awards received
  • The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
  • Photographic image 

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. You can also 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 you have completed your selections.

 


How to Delegate Access

Delegated access is a way you can share your 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.

  1. Use the follow link to log into MyFIU: Delegate Your Access. See Access MyFIU for help. If are already logged in to MyFIU, please log out so you do not get an error. If the link does not work for you, select 'Student Tools,' then 'Delegate Access.'
  2. Click the 'Delegate Access To A New Contact' button.
  3. Read and accept the FERPA terms and conditions.
  4. Fill in the contact information for the person you are delegating access to and check off the areas you will allow them access to.
  5. Remind whoever you delegate access to, to check their email. They will receive a link to create an account along with a security key.
  6. They will need to fill in all required information and click 'Create Account.' They will receive a confirmation message on the screen and an email confirming the account was created. From here, they can sign in to your account.
  7. Once logged in, they will need to read and accept the terms and conditions and input their email address and security key from the previous email.
  8. They will now have access to all areas you delegated to them and can log in at any time.

You are responsible for making payments on your tuition and fees. If you have delegated access to someone else, remind them to pay by the deadlines in the Academic Calendar.

Last updated: February 1, 2019