FERPA Privacy Restrictions

Enter a privacy restriction, with or without exceptions

Don’t want to get promotions from businesses or emails from registered student organizations (RSO) looking for members? Enter a FERPA privacy restriction on your directory information to prevent your information from being shared. You will still receive official UW communications.

Note that FERPA restrictions can prevent you from appearing on certain public lists, like the online UW directory, and can prevent UW–Madison from sharing or confirming your restricted information with third parties.

As such, prior to entering a restriction, students should carefully consider how the decision may affect them in unexpected ways. For example, if a third party such as a potential employer contacts the university to confirm that you are/were a student at UW–Madison, restrictions on your record can prevent UW–Madison from commenting on your status. Or, if you have a restriction on the release of your address, we cannot include you on Dean’s List announcements that are sent to hometown newspapers or on the publicly available list.

UW–Madison will honor a student’s request to restrict the release of directory information but cannot assume responsibility to contact the student for subsequent permission to release the information. Regardless of the effect upon a student, UW–Madison assumes no liability for honoring a student’s request that directory information be restricted.

Even though a student may have placed a FERPA restriction, the University has the right to share the student’s information with school officials who have a legitimate educational interest.

A student who has ceased attending UW–Madison, and whose directory information was not restricted in their last term of attendance, does not have the right to restrict the release of directory information until such time as they re-enroll at the university.

To place a privacy restriction and/or exception, go to Student Center, under “Profile,” and select “Privacy Restrictions.” For full instructions with screenshots, go to “How to: edit FERPA privacy restrictions.

Exception Overview

You have the right to restrict your information from being released under FERPA. If you have restricted some or all of your information, you are stating that you don’t want the information released, and if you enter an exception, that information can be released in certain scenarios:

  • Publications exception: This exception allows your directory information to be in published lists of graduates, Dean’s lists sent to hometown newspapers, and similar announcements and publications. However, the Dean’s list found here will not include your information if you have a restriction of any kind.
  • Directories exception: At this time, this is only a placeholder for future development on name/email exceptions to allow this information to be restricted but accessible in the campus directory. This exception currently has no impact on privacy restrictions.
  • IT applications: At this time, this is only a placeholder for future development on applications such as Box, LinkedIn Learning, etc. This exception currently has no impact on privacy restrictions.