Privacy and Release of Educational Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as amended, establishes requirements regarding the privacy of student records. UH at Mānoa has established policies and procedures with regards to privacy and the release of your individual educational records. Your primary rights protected under FERPA are:
Students’ right to review and inspect their educational records
Educational records are all records about you and maintained by UH at Mānoa , with seven exceptions:
- Personal notes of faculty and staff
- Employment records
- Medical and counseling records used solely for treatment
- Campus security records
- Financial records of a parent or spouse
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in your record prior to January 1, 1975.
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendation for admission, employment or honorary recognition placed in your record after January 1, 1975, for which you have waived your right to inspect and review.
Students’ right to seek to amend their educational records
If you believe your educational record is inaccurate or misleading, you may request that the University amend that record within 45 days after the day the University receives your request. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect.
Students’ right to control disclosure of certain portions of their educational records
In accordance with FERPA, the University has designated the following category of information about you as public, or directory information. This information will be routinely released to any inquirer unless you specifically request that all of the items on the list be withheld:
- Name of student
- Major field of study
- Class (i.e., freshman, sophomore, etc.)
- Participation in officially recognized activities
- Participation in officially recognized sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Dates of attendance
- Previous institutions attended
- Full or part-time status
- Degree(s) conferred (including anticipated graduation dates)
- Honors and awards (including dean’s list)
Lists of directory information will not be made publicly available to third parties.
Non-Directory Information (Private Educational Records):
Many categories of information are considered restricted, sensitive, or protected and are used internally within the UH at Mānoa community. For example, information such as UH email address/user name, address (street and number), date of birth, social security, gender, and grades unless you grant permission to release. For a complete list of restricted categories, please visit the resources section.
The University may provide the UH Foundation with lists of students with the following information: name, school/college/division/department, degree, major and minor fields of study, UH email address, home address, and telephone number for the purpose of University and alumni relations.
Who can Request Access?
Under FERPA, prior written consent must be obtained before your educational record may be disclosed to a third party, except to the extent FERPA authorizes disclosure without prior consent. Information will be released without your prior written consent to certain groups or individuals.
Instances may include:
- Lawfully issued subpoena or court order
- Authorized university officials who “need to know” to fulfill their professional duties
- Requests in connection with the health and safety of you or another person
- To audit or evaluate for educational programs, such as an accrediting organization to carry out accrediting functions or an authorized representative of the United States Secretary of Education.
Finally, students have the right to notify the U.S. Department of Education concerning an academic institution’s failure to comply with FERPA regulations.
Complaints can be filed online or by mail to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
Annual Notification of Rights Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
UH at Mānoa is required to notify enrolled students annually of their rights under FERPA.
More Resources on FERPA
- University of Hawai’i System – AP 7.022, Procedures Relating to Protection of the Educational Rights and Privacy of Students
- University of Hawai’i System – Overview of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- AACRAO – FERPA Compliance
- U.S. Department of Education – FERPA Guidance for Students
If you have questions regarding FERPA, please contact Pheng Xiong, University Registrar, Office of the Registrar.