UNC Charlotte Academic Policy and Procedure: Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Notification

I. Introduction

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.  University Policy 402, Student Education Records, is the official University Policy governing student education records at UNC Charlotte.

II. Policy and Procedure Statement

In establishing  University Policy 402, Student Education Records, UNC Charlotte adheres to a policy of compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as FERPA, a federal law that affords students the following rights with respect to their education records.

For details, see the FERPA Annual Notification posted on the Office of Legal Affairs website. 

All questions concerning this FERPA Annual Notification may be directed to the attention of the Office of the Registrar.

III. Definitions

  • Dean – The highest authority within an academic division of study.  An Academic Dean heads each College.  In addition to the academic deans, there is also a Dean of Students within the Division of Student Affairs.
  • Department chair – The faculty member in charge of an academic department of the University.
  • Directory Information – Information in a student’s education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.  At UNC Charlotte, directory information consists of the student’s name, major field of study, dates of attendance, enrollment status, and degrees and awards (including scholarships) received.  Photographs, videos, or other media containing a student’s image or likeness (collectively, “student images”) and University-issued student electronic mail addresses (“email addresses”) are designated by UNC Charlotte as “limited use directory information.”  Use and disclosure of limited use directory information will be restricted to: (1) publication in official University publications or on social media sites or websites hosted or maintained by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of the University, including the University’s online directory and internal email system; (2) University officials who have access, consistent with FERPA, to such information and only in conjunction with a legitimate educational interest; and (3) external parties contractually affiliated with the University, provided such affiliation requires the sharing of limited use directory information.
  • Education Records – Education Records include records directly related to a student that are maintained by UNC Charlotte.  Exclusions from the definition of Education Records are found in University Policy 402, Student Education Records.
  • FERPA – The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Personally Identifiable Information – The definition of Personally Identifiable Information is set forth in University Policy 402, Student Education Records.
  • Registrar – The official at the University who is responsible for maintaining student records.  The Office of the Registrar plans and oversees registration, academic record maintenance, transcript preparation, graduation, a degree audit report system, and curricular records.
  • Student – An individual who is or who has been in attendance at UNC Charlotte. It does not include persons who have been admitted but did not attend at the University.  For the purposes of this policy, “attendance” includes attendance in person or by paper correspondence, videoconference, satellite, Internet, or other electronic information and telecommunications technologies for students who are not physically present in the classroom; and the period during which a person is working under a UNC Charlotte work-study program.

IV. Policy Contact(s)

V. History

VI. Related Policies, Procedures, and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which students are covered under this policy? 
    This policy applies to all students at UNC Charlotte.  For the purposes of FERPA and this notice, “student” means an individual who is or who has been in attendance at UNC Charlotte. “Attendance” includes attendance in person or by paper correspondence, videoconference, satellite, Internet, or other electronic information and telecommunications technologies for students who are not physically present in the classroom; and the period during which a person is working under a UNC Charlotte work-study program.