Privacy of Student Records

UCSC Policy on Privacy of Student Records: A Quick Reference

Resources for Students, Parents, and Staff, Privacy FAQs and UC Guidelines and Policies

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Many university employees with a "legitimate interest" have access to students’ academic records. We are obligated to protect the privacy of the student records to which we have access. The disclosure of information from student records is governed by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, which is intended to protect the student’s right to privacy.

What are student records and what can be disclosed to parties other than the student? Student records maintained by UC or another group acting for UC include, but are not limited to, transcripts (grades), exam papers, test scores, evaluations, and financial aid records.

The following are NOT considered student records:

  • Applicant records

  • Campus police records created and maintained solely for law enforcement purposes

  • Health records which are created, maintained, or used only in connection with treatment

  • Employment records when employment does not result from, and does not depend upon, the fact that an individual is a student

  • Alumni records generated or received by the university after an individual is no longer a student, and that are not directly related to the individual's attendance as a student
  • Personal records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel which are kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record, and are not accessible or revealed to any other individual

Student records information falls into two general categories:

  1. Public information, to which third parties* have access, and

  2. Confidential information, to which third parties may have access ONLY if the student provides explicit written authorization.

* anyone other than the record custodian and the student about whom the information pertains

Public Information for Students Without NRI

UCSC has defined the following items as public information which may be released from student records to any person UNLESS the student has requested Non-Release of Public Information, indicated in Academic Information Systems (AIS) by this window shade symbol symbol. No other information may be released without the written consent of the student.

If the student is new: beginning with the first day of the quarter, university officials may release name and college affiliation. After the NRI filing deadline, all items of public information may be released unless an NRI has been filed. Prior to the first day of the quarter no information will be released.

If the student is currently enrolled or if the university is between quarters, and the student is activated to the upcoming quarter, you may release items defined as public information with the exception of credits currently enrolled if it is between quarters.

If the student is no longer enrolled ( i.e., the last quarter enrolled is prior to the current quarter), you may release the items indicated below.

Public Information Quick Reference Chart for Students Without NRI (Non-Release of Information)

New Student-- before the quarter begins

New Student--
first day of the quarter through NRI deadline (7th day of instruction), then follow continuing student

Continuing Student

No Longer Enrolled

Student Name

NO

YES

YES

YES

Local Telephone

NO

NO

YES

NO

Local Address (current mailing or campus/college)

NO

NO

YES

NO

Campus E-Mail Address

NO

NO

YES

NO

College

NO

YES

YES

YES

Division

NO

NO

YES

YES

Department

NO

NO

YES

YES

Major

NO

NO

YES

YES

Minor

NO

NO

YES

YES

Class Level (e.g., frosh, senior)

NO

NO

YES

YES

Dates of Attendance

NO

NO

YES

YES

Number of Credits Enrolled Current Term

NO

NO

YES

NO

Degrees and Honors

NO

NO

YES

YES

Name, Weight, Height of Intercollegiate Athletes

NO

NO

YES

NO

Student names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses are published in the UCSC Campus Directory. Students without an NRI may choose to not release this information to the Campus Directory. All other information contained in a student record is considered confidential.

Some Common Examples of Information Not Defined as Public Information

  • student schedule, grades, or GPA

  • student number or student photo

  • total number of credits completed or anticipated graduation date

  • social security number or date of birth

  • financial aid or billing information

If you are unsure, or where the law is silent, the campus is guided by the following principles:

1.      The privacy of an individual is of great weight—in other words: "When in doubt, maintain confidentiality."

2.      The information in a student’s record should be disclosed to the student on request.

3.      If non-directory information is needed to resolve a crisis or emergency situation, an education institution may release that information if the institution determines that the information is "necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals." This includes releasing information to school officials at another institution. In such a situation, consultation with the Office of the Registrar is recommended.

Each department that maintains student records and each individual who has access to that information is responsible for the confidentiality of the information.

Requesting Non-Release of Public Information (NRI)

Students may request non-release through MyUCSC. The NRI remains in effect until the student requests via MyUCSC that it be rescinded. For students with an NRI, no information may be released. The appropriate response to a request for information about a student with an NRI is "We have no information regarding a person by that name." Students with an NRI can elect to release information to Dean's/Honors Lists and Commencement Programs through MyUCSC.

A school official may assist a student with an NRI as long as the identity of the student can be verified. FERPA states that social security number and date of birth are “not considered reasonable” methods to authenticate the individual’s identity. Instead, you may check the student's state or university-issued photo ID, or ask a combination of identifying questions that are very specific to the student, such as student ID number in combination with classes completed and grades; current class schedule including day, time, building, and instructor; or permanent address information.

Call or e-mail the Interim University Registrar, Tchad Sanger, at 831-459-5604 or cpsanger@ucsc.edu if you have any questions regarding the privacy of student records.

Resources

Printable Quick Guide on Privacy of Student Records

FERPA for Parents

FERPA for Faculty

FERPA and eCommons

FERPA Quiz

Employee Statement of Understanding Privacy of Student Records

Authorization to Release Education Record Information

Annual Notification of Student Privacy Rights Under FERPA

UCSC Administrative Procedures Applying to Disclosure of Information from Student Records

UC Policies Applying to Disclosure of Information from Student Records

"FERPA 101: FERPA at the University of California" - Presentation by the UC Office of the President

UC Guidelines for Assuring Privacy of Personal Information in Mailing Lists and Telephone Directories

UC Legal Requirements on Privacy and Access to Information

Office of Privacy Protection - State of California

Family Compliance Office - U.S. Department of Education

Revised: 12/09/13