Parent Handbook: Student Records
Student Privacy and FERPA
One of the most significant changes a parent experiences in sending a son or daughter to college is the difference in privacy standards for educational records at the University. The University of Memphis is subject to a federal law called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also called FERPA or the Buckley Amendment [U.S. Public Law 93-579]) that sets privacy standards for student educational records and requires institutions to publish a compliance statement, including a statement of related institutional policies. The University of Memphis policies are online and on the Registrar’s website. Reference to this policy often raises questions from parents, and we have provided the answers to many of these questions below.
What is FERPA (Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act)?
FERPA guarantees individuals’ rights to the access of their academic record. This federal law also provides guidelines as to third party access and the appropriate security of the education record. FERPA stipulates that students have the right to:
- Inspect and review their academic record
- Control disclosure
- Request amendment to the educational record if an error is recorded
Does FERPA give me the right to see the education records of my student in college?
When your student turns 18 or enters college at any age all rights under FERPA transfer to the student.
How can I see my student’s grades?
Ask your student to show you his or her grades on the myMemphis portal. If this is not practical, ask your student to complete a Consent to Release Education Record form; this completed form allows the Registrar to release a copy of his/her grades to you. If your student is unwilling to complete this form, then, as a last resort, obtain, complete, and sign a Parent Request for Disclosure of Education Record Information and Certification of Dependent Status form. The University is required to notify your student in writing that you have requested and will be given a copy of the record, so you may want to give your student some advance warning. For more information, please click here.
Why do I have limited access to my student’s college records especially when I am paying the bills?
Under FERPA, the access rights that parents and legal guardians had in the elementary and secondary school setting are transferred to students once a student has turned eighteen or is attending any post-secondary educational institution. Parents can be given access to their son or daughter’s records if the student authorizes the access in writing or in connection with the student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid.
Where can I find out more information about FERPA?
FERPA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education. The Department maintains a FERPA website, with links to FERPA regulations.
Do you need verification that you student is enrolled for medical insurance, car insurance, or anything else? Students can request enrollment verification from the National Student Clearinghouse or from the Registrar’s office. For complete details on how to request enrollment verification, please Degree or Enrollment Verification.
Office of the Registrar
Directory Information is personal student data that can be published in a Campus Telephone Directory or used to identify a student to outside agencies. Directory Information is treated in a professional manner by the University and its employees.
The following pieces of student information are considered Directory Information:
- Student Name
- Student U-Number(University ID number)
- Telephone Listing
- E-mail address
- Major field of study
- Earned Hours
- Date of Birth
- Participation in officially recognized Activities and Sports
- Weight and Height - ** Members of Athletic Teams Only **
- Dates of Attendance
- Degrees and Awards received
- Most recent Previous Education Agency or Institution attended
- Current Enrollment Status: (1) Number of Hours currently enrolled in, (2) Status (Part-time or Full-time), and (3) Classification (Freshman, Sophomore, etc.)
Students have the right to prevent their Directory Information from being published in the Campus Directory or released to outside agencies. If a student elects to suppress his or her Directory Information, ALL of it will be suppressed. We cannot release some information and suppress some as well. For information on how to suppress directory information, please Release of Student Record.