The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) grants students certain rights, privileges, and protections related to their educational records maintained at the University of Montana Western. FERPA was written specifically for students and guarantees certain rights in relation to their educational records.
Notification of Students’ Rights under FERPA
FERPA affords students certain rights in regards to their educational records. As a summary, these rights include:
- Students have the right to inspect and review their educational records within 45 days of a request to access records. Students should contact the Registrar’s Office to inquire about the process to request access to records.
- Students have the right to request an amendment of their educational record should the student believe information is inaccurate or misleading. Students requesting an amendment should contact the Registrar’s Office for further information.
- Students have the right to decide who is authorized to access their record. Students who desire a third party (i.e. parent, spouse, partner) to have access to their educational records should complete a FERPA Information Release form and return it to the respective office that they desire the third party to access records.
- Students have the right to file a nondisclosure/restriction in writing with the Registrar’s Office, which will prevent their information from appearing in directory information requests.
The right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with FERPA.
Exceptions to the Release of Records
There are two excepts to the release of records.
School Official with Legitimate Educational Interest
A school official is a person employed by the University; a person with whom the University has contracted; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official in performing their tasks as assigned or contracted with the University. A school official may access student educational records if they show legitimate educational interest in the requested record, meaning that the official needs to access the education record in order to fulfill their professional responsibility to the student or the University.
FERPA permits the release of directory-type information to third parties without written consent of the student provided the student has been given the opportunity to withhold such disclosures (See nondisclosure requests). The University of Montana Western may release the following directory information as documented in the catalog to third parties without the written consent of the student unless a student has submitted a non-disclosure.
- Name, campus address, home address, telephone listing, and campus e-mail address
- Student classification (i.e. fresh, sophomore)
- Activities and sports participation
- Class schedules, dates attendance, graduation, and degrees awarded
- Height, weight, name of high school attended and year of graduation for members of athletic teams.
- Most recent educational institution attended.
- Photographs, video or electronic images of student taken and maintained by the University
Request for Non-Disclosure/Directory Restrictions
Unless otherwise requested, directory information may be shared without consent. Should a student desire to exclude their information from a directory release they should complete the Withhold Directory Information section of the Change of Student Information form and return it to the Registrar’s Office.
Please note information release and directory restriction requests will only be received from the student. Requests received from anyone beside the student will be denied.