The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Get a basic understanding of the rules governing release of student information at University of Northwestern.
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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.

Before accessing student educational records, carefully review the FERPA material presented in this site. Maintaining confidentiality of student educational records can be achieved by knowing a few basic requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

For more information, or consultation regarding specific situations, you may contact the Registrar.

FERPA Tutorial

  • What is FERPA?
  • What are Education Records?
  • Education Records Do Not Include:
  • The Right to Inspect and Review
  • What is Prior Written Consent?
  • When is Consent Not Required?
  • What is Directory Information?
  • Special "DON'TS" for Faculty and Support Staff
  • What are the Basic Rules?
  • More Information

What is FERPA?

FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (sometimes called the Buckley
Amendment). Passed by Congress in 1974, the Act (as amended) grants four specific rights
to the adult student:

  • the right to inspect and review educational records that an institution is keeping
    on the student
  • the right to seek amendment to those records and in certain cases append a
    statement to the record
  • the right to limit disclosure of his/her records
  • the right to file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington

FERPA law requires institutions to notify students of their rights under FERPA.

Read more detailed information about FERPA.

Read FERPA General Guidance for Students.

University of Northwestern Contact:
Andy Simpson
Registrar and FERPA Compliance Officer
Phone: 651-631-5239
E-mail: alsimpson@unwsp.edu

FERPA Website

FERPA E-mail: FERPA@ed.gov

  • Student and parent on laptop

    FERPA Basic Rules

    Student records may not be released without the written consent of the student. As a faculty, staff, or student employee you have a responsibility to protect educational records in your possession...

    Read More
  • Three faculty looking at laptop screen


    Have questions about FERPA? Want to know what information you have access to about your student? Here is a list of common questions for parents and guardians.

    Read More
  • Exterior facade of Nazareth Hall

    Contact the Registrar's Office

    Contact details for the University of Northwestern Registrar's Office, including information for general office inquiries and for individual staff members.

    Read More
  • Three women looking at laptop screen

    FERPA Quiz

    Ten question quiz to gauge knowledge of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) law.

    Read More
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