What is an education record?
An education record includes any information or data that is directly related to a student and maintained by the University or by a person acting for the University. This encompasses information or data recorded in any medium, including but not limited to electronic data, handwriting, print, tapes, email, microfilm, and microfiche.
- admissions information for students who are accepted and enrolled
- biographical information including date and place of birth, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, and identification photographs
- communications in written, emailed, or recorded form that are part of the academic process or pertain to a student’s status
- course work including papers, exams, grades, and evaluations
- disciplinary records
- internship program records
- personal information shared through course assignments, class discussions, evaluations, and office hour visits
- student financial and financial aid records
- student identification number (SID)
- student status details such as academic specialization and activities, class schedules, and courses taken
What is not an education record?
- University of Arizona law enforcement records
- Employment records when the employment is not connected to student status (e.g., a staff member who happens to be pursuing a degree at the institution, as opposed to a student employed under the work-study program)
- Medical and mental health records used only for treatment of the student
- Alumni records which do not relate to or contain information about the person as a student (e.g., information collected by the University pertaining to alumni accomplishments)
- Sole possession records, which include memory aids or reference tools that are kept in sole possession of the maker of the record. The term does not refer to records that contain information provided directly by a student, nor records that are used to make decisions about a student.
Who has access to education records?
In general, the University will not release "personally identifiable information" from a student's education record without the student's prior written consent. However, FERPA allows disclosure without student consent under the following circumstances:
- School employees who have a "legitimate educational interest" in the records to perform their duties
- Other schools where a student seeks to enroll or is enrolled
- Accrediting organizations
- Organizations doing certain studies for or on behalf of the University
- Appropriate parties to determine eligibility, amount, or conditions of financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of aid
- Parents of a "dependent student," as defined in the Internal Revenue Code, when the parent has provided a notarized affidavit, along with a copy of the relevant page of the parent's most recent income tax return indicating the student's dependent status. Affidavits must be updated annually, otherwise, prior written permission from the student is required
- Certain government officials of the US Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with an audit, authorized representatives of the US Attorney General for law enforcement purposes, or state or federally supported education programs
- Individuals who have obtained a judicial order or subpoena
- School officials who have a need to know concerning disciplinary action taken against a student
- Appropriate parties who need to know in cases of health and safety emergencies when necessary to protect the student and/or others
- An alleged victim of a crime of violence or non-forcible sexual offense has a right to learn the results of a disciplinary proceeding conducted by the institution against the alleged perpetrator of the crime
- Information regarding any violation of university policy or state, federal or local law, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance may be released to the parents or legal guardian of a student under the age of 21
FERPA allows for disclosure in the above circumstances, but disclosure is not required.