Student Records Confidentiality

Consumer Information – Student Records Confidentiality

The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (“Buckley Amendment”)
Annual Notice to UNH Students

Each year, the University of New Hampshire, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (the Buckley Amendment), informs students of their rights under the act. The Buckley Amendment was designed to protect the privacy of student education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Students may also have the right to file complaints with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA) concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the act.

Section I: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Guidelines

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.

Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the records(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her rights to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit, personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Upon request, the University discloses education records including records of disciplinary action, without consent, to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

Students may authorize persons of their choosing to access UNH billing information through MYUNH/Blackboard.

4. The University occasionally receives court orders and grand jury subpoenas requiring it to produce a student’s educational records. The University usually makes reasonable efforts to notify the student of the order or subpoena before complying, except when the order or subpoena itself requires that the student not be notified.

5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failure by the University of New Hampshire to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Effective 1998, The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was amended to no longer prohibit postsecondary institutions from disclosing, to parents or legal guardians of students under the age of 21, information about violations of law and campus policies regarding alcohol or other drugs. The University of New Hampshire provides such notification in certain situations. The parental notification policy is contained herein under Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Policies. For full text of the amendment, please see footnote.1

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records — including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

Section II: Directory Information About Students

A. The act provides that “directory information” may be made available to third parties without requiring permission of the student. However, public notice must be given of the intent to publish the information, so that students can request that all or part of this information not be made public. A request form to prevent disclosure of directory information is available at the Registrar’s Office and must be filed with the registrar each semester by the third Wednesday of classes. “Directory information” (other than that for specialized programs and activities) should be requested from the Registrar’s Office and consists of the following items:

1. Student’s name, address, telephone listing, and email address;

2. Major field of study;

3. Participation in officially-recognized activities and sports;

4. Weight and height of members of athletic teams;

5. Dates of attendance;

6. Degrees and awards received;

7. Most recent previous educational institution or agency attended by the student;

8. Class;

9. Honor rolls;

10. Date of birth.

Note: Grades are considered “directory information” to the extent that honor rolls may be published. Also, transcripts of students’ academic records or students’ grade-point averages may be released to the faculty advisers of officially-recognized honor societies on campus upon request. Only the faculty members have the right to access students’ records or grade-point averages.

For general information concerning the Buckley Amendment or for assistance in locating individuals or offices maintaining a student’s education records, please contact the following campus offices:

Office of the Assistant Dean for Students: UNH Law, 3rd floor, 603-513-5171

Vice President for Student and Academic Services: Thompson Hall, 862-2053

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs: Thompson Hall, 862-3290

Copies of the Buckley Amendment are available in the Dimond Library at the Reference Desk, and on the Web site for the Department of Education:

1. Section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 123g) is amended by adding...

(i) Drug and Alcohol Violation Disclosures

(1) IN GENERAL - Nothing in this Act or the Higher Education Act of 1965 shall be construed to prohibit an institution of higher education from disclosing, to a parent or legal guardian of a student, information regarding any violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the insitution, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, regardless of whether that information is contained in the student's educational records, if --

(A) the student is under the age of 21; and (B) the institution determines that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or possession.

The University of New Hampshire discloses students' alcohol or other drug related violations under the Code of Conduct to their parents or legal guardians at the time that they are charged, without obtaining students' permission for the disclosure. The University believes that this policy of prompt notification of parents is consistent with the U.S. Department of Education's interpretation of its regulation governing such disclosures. See 34 C.F.R. 99.31 (a) (15) and 65 Federal Register, 41863 (July 6, 2000) (*Congress intended to make it easier for institutions to inform parents of drug and alcohol violations by allowing the insitution to release the information witout conducting a formal disciplinary hearing"). The disclosure does not deprive students of the opportunity to contest charges or drug and alcohol violations through the University disciplinary process.