FERPA Release Exceptions
As a general rule, under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), personally identifiable information may not be released from a student’s education records without the student’s prior written consent. Exceptions to this rule are set out in the FERPA regulations and the FERPA policy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For your convenience, a few of those exceptions are listed below.
The University may disclose personally identifiable information from a student’s education records without the student’s prior written consent in the following situations, after using reasonable methods to identify and authenticate the identity of the parties to whom it discloses such information:
- Disclosure to officials of another institution in which the student seeks or intends to enroll and disclosure to officials of another institution in which a currently enrolled UNC-CH student is contemporaneously enrolled. The University may also make disclosures to an institution where a former UNC-CH student is already enrolled, as long as the disclosures are for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.
- Inclusion in the education records of a student appropriate information concerning disciplinary action taken against the student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety or well-being of that student, other students, or other members of the school community.
- Disclosure, on request, of the final results of a disciplinary proceeding where a student has allegedly perpetrated a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and, has been found, by that conduct, to have violated University rules or policies.
In such a case, the following information will be disclosed:
- The student’s name
- The rule or policy that was violated
- Any essential findings supporting the conclusion that the violation was committed
- The disciplinary sanction imposed
- The date the sanction was imposed
- The duration of the sanction
The names of victims, witnesses, or other students will not be disclosed without their prior written consent.
Disclosure to teachers, officials, and employees of UNC-CH (including employees of the UNC-CH Department of Public Safety); disclosure to contractors of UNC-CH to whom the University has outsourced institutional services or functions (for example, the National Student Clearinghouse, Blackboard, entities providing practical or clinical training for students, and other similar or dissimilar contractors); disclosure to UNC-CH students when they are functioning in an official University capacity (for example, the Honor Court); and disclosure to employees of the General Administration of The University of North Carolina system. In each case disclosure may be made to these individuals and entities only if they have a legitimate educational interest in the information.
They are deemed to have a “legitimate educational interest” in the information if it is necessary or desirable for them to obtain it in order to carry out their official duties or their contractual obligations to the University and/or to implement the policies of The University of North Carolina, or if it is in the educational interest of the student in question for such individuals and entities to have the information.
Disclosure of “directory information,” which the University defines as: the student’s name; address (local and grade/billing address); student e-mail address; telephone listing (local and grade/billing telephone numbers); date and place of birth; major field of study; class (freshman, senior, etc.); enrollment status (full-time, half-time, part-time); person ID number (PID); anticipated graduation date; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; dates of attendance; degrees and awards received; the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student; and the county, state and/or U.S. territory from which the student entered the University.
The University makes public certain information that has been designated as “directory information” unless the student has notified the Office of the University Registrar to restrict the release of this information. Note that parent name, address, and telephone number are not directory information.