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
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 click here.
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 click here.