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University Policies

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act Policy (FERPA)

Initiating Department: Registrar's Office
Policy Type: General Administrative
Action Taken: New Policy Creation
Date of Development: 9/28/2004
Date of Implementation:
Date Last Modified:
Next Review Date: 3/2/2012


The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, known as the “Buckley Amendment,” requires that institutions receiving funds from programs for which the U.S. Commissioner of Education has administrative responsibility must obtain consent before releasing education records of students (or partially identifiable information contained therein) except to specified parties or in specified situations. The Act intends to protect the privacy of students with regard to access of records, release of such records, and the opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records should they be inaccurate, misleading or inappropriate. Third parties that may have access to, or release of, education records of personally-identifiable information contained therein include:

A. university officials, who have legitimate education interest;
B. officials of other schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll;
C. certain authorized federal agencies;
D. persons in connection with the student’s application for, or receipt of financial aid;
E. state and local authorities to whom such information is specifically required to be reported by state statute prior to November 19, 1974;
F. organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of educational agencies or institutions,
G. accrediting organizations;
H. parents of a dependent student as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954; or in compliance with judicial order.

The University of Maine at Fort Kent considers as directory information the following items and will release them to persons requesting the information unless the student requests the Registrar’s Office not to do so: student’s name, class level, degree and major, date and place of birth, dates of attendance, dates of graduation, enrollment status (FT/PT), previous university attended, degrees awarded, sports and activities participation, athlete’s height and weight, awards and honors. Students may request that directory information be suppressed from public distribution. The University of Maine at Fort Kent will endeavor to suppress all information concerning the student’s relationship with the University if the student completes the “Directory Information Disclosure Form” with the Registrar’s Office.

NOTE: Before taking advantage of this privilege, students should be aware that any request from parents, relatives, friends, student organizations, University of Maine’s Public Information Service, and others who may wish to contact the student will not be fulfilled.

The law provides students with the right to inspect and review information contained in their education records, to challenge the contents to their education records, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if they feel the decisions of the hearing panels to be unacceptable. The Registrar at the University of Maine at Fort Kent has been designated by the institution to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student education records, which include admissions, personal, academic, financial aid files, and academic, cooperative education, and placement records. Students wishing to review their education records must make written requests to the Registrar listing the item or items of interest. Only records covered by the Act will be made available within forty-five days of the request. Students may have copies made of their records with certain exceptions, (e.g., a copy of the academic record for which a “HOLD” exists, or a transcript of an original or source document which exists elsewhere.) Education records do not include records of instructional, administrative, and education personnel which are the sole possessions of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any individual except a temporary substitute, records of the law enforcement unit, student health records, employment records or alumni records. Health records, however, may be reviewed by physicians of the student’s choosing.

Students may not inspect and review the following outlined by the Act: financial information submitted by their parents; confidential letters and recommendations associated with admissions, employment or job placement, or honors to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review; or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student. The institution is not required to permit students to inspect and review confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975, provided those letters were collected under established policies of confidentiality and were used only for the purposes for which they were collected.

Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights may discuss their problems with the Registrar. If the decisions are in agreement with the students’ requests, the appropriate records will be amended. If not, the students will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the records will not be amended; and they will be informed by the Registrar, of their right to a formal hearing. Student requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Vice President of Academic Affairs who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving such requests, will inform students of the date, place, and the time of the hearing. Students may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assigned or represented at the hearings by one or more persons of their choice, including attorneys, at the students’ expense. The hearing panels which will adjudicate such challenges consist of the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President for Administration and President of the Student Senate.

Decisions of the hearing panels will be final, will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, and will consist of written statement summarizing the evidence and stating the reasons for the decisions, and will be delivered to all parties concerned. The education records will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decisions of the hearing panels, if the decisions are in favor of the students. If the decisions are unsatisfactory to the student, the students may place with the education records statements commenting on the information in the records, or statements setting forth any reason for disagreeing with the decisions of the hearing panels. The statements will be placed in the educational records, maintained as part of the students’ records, and released whenever the records in question are disclosed.

The following is a list of educational records maintained by the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Type of record Description Campus Location
Academic Record Permanent academic record and supporting documents (Registrar transcripts, admissions application, biographical data) Registrar
Financial Record A student's current financial aid status or University bill Business Office Business Office;
Financial Aid
Placement record Placement folder (student's vita, letters of recommendation Student teaching evaluation) Student Success; Student Teaching Office
Disciplinary Record Discipline Proceedings, actions or sanctions Student Services Office
Counseling and Health Record A student’s immunization record or academic counseling record Academic Services Office; Student Service