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FERPA & Student Privacy

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Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

The method with which the University of Tennessee governs the distribution of student information is based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 or FERPA. This Act, as amended, established the requirements governing the privacy of student educational records in regards to the release of those records and access to those records. This Act is also known as the Buckley Amendment.

The Act gives four basic rights to students:

  • the right to review their education records;
  • the right to seek to amend their education records;
  • the right to limit disclosure of personally identifiable information (directory information);
  • and the right to notify the Department of Education concerning an academic institution's failure to comply with FERPA regulations.

FERPA provides for confidentiality of student records; however, it also provides for basic identification of people at the University of Tennessee without the consent of the individual. Release of information to third parties includes directory information, such as contained in the campus telephone book, in the online web-based people directory, and in sports brochures. Students are notified of their FERPA rights and the procedures for limiting disclosure of directory information in Hilltopics, at Orientation for new students, and in annual emails.