As a student, the following primary rights are protected under FERPA:
Right to inspect and review education records
You may request access to review and inspect your education records.
To do so, a student must write to the University official (i.e., registrar, dean, department chair, or other appropriate University person/office) responsible for the records. The written request must indicate the records the student wishes to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct person or office to whom the request should be addressed and it becomes the student’s responsibility to submit the request to that person or office. Upon receipt of the written request, the University official has 45 days to comply. FERPA does not provide the student with the right to access certain records, including but not limited to financial records of a parent, and confidential letters and statements of recommendation for admission, employment, or honorary recognition that the student has waived the right to inspect and review.
Right to seek to have your education records amended
You have the right to request an amendment of your education record if you believe it is inaccurate. However, FERPA was not intended to provide a process to be used by the student to question substantive judgments that are correctly recorded. For example, the FERPA rights of challenge are not intended to allow a student to contest a grade in a course because they felt a higher grade should have been assigned. FERPA is intended to ensure the factual and accurate nature of the information in the student’s education records and the student’s right to verify that information.
To request an amendment to an education record, you should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record you want changed, and specify why you believe it is inaccurate. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, you have the right to a formal hearing. If UW–Madison still decides not to amend the record, you may place a written statement in the record about your view of the contested information. More information is available in the campus FERPA hearing policy.
In the process of challenging the education record information, the student may wish to have copies of appropriate documents in their education record file. The University may assess the student a reasonable per copy fee for such documents. A request for a copy of any document in an educational record will be denied if the student has a hold/service indicator on their records that prevents the release of the official academic transcript, or if the document is a transcript of an original or source document which exists elsewhere.
Right to control disclosure of certain portions of your education records
Generally, UW–Madison must have your permission to release information from your education record. However, FERPA allows UW–Madison to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:
- School officials with legitimate educational interest;
- Other schools to which you are transferring;
- Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
- Appropriate parties in connection with your financial aid;
- Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
- Accrediting organizations;
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
- State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
UW–Madison may disclose, without consent, directory information. However, we must tell you about directory information and allow you a reasonable amount of time to request that we not disclose your directory information.
Right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education
Information is available from the U.S. Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office.