Student Records: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Notice of Student's Rights
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.
These rights are as follows:
- Students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the university receives the request.
- Students have the right to request amendment of their education records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading. If the university denies a student requested amendment, the student has the right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment to his/her education record.
- Students have the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Such complaints may be sent to the Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.
At its discretion, the University of Houston may provide "directory information" to the general public without student consent. "Directory information" is defined by FERPA as follows:
- University assigned E-mail address
- Telephone listing
- Major field of study
- Date and place of birth
- Dates of attendance
- Degrees, awards, and honors received
- Most recent previous education institution attended
- Participation in officially recognized sports and activities
- Height/weight (athletes only)
- Enrollment status (undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time)
If a student does not want "directory information" regarding him or her to be released, the student must login to myUH at https://my.uh.edu to set the appropriate privacy settings during the first week of class to ensure that information is not released by the university or published in the Student Directory. Students are responsible for requesting the release of their information once a request for withholding "directory information" has been placed on record.
Disclosure of Education Records
The University of Houston will not disclose information from a student's education records without the written consent of the student, except in the following instances in which FERPA authorizes disclosure without prior student consent:
- To school officials who have a legitimate educational or administrative interest in the records. A school official is defined as a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including the university's police department and health care staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a person assisting another school official in performing his or her official duties. A school official has a legitimate education interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities.
- To other schools in which the student seeks to enroll (or is enrolled) so long as the disclosure is related to enrollment or transfer.
- To authorized representatives of the U. S. Secretary of Education, the U.S. Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs; and the U.S. Attorney General for law enforcement purposes.
- In connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
- To state and local officials or authorities in accordance with state law.
- To organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the university to develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; administer student aid programs; or improve instruction.
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
- To parents of a "dependent" student as defined under the federal tax laws.
- To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
- To appropriate parties in connection with a health or safety emergency.
- As it relates to "directory information," unless the student restricts "directory information."
- To an alleged victim of any crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense regarding the final results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted against the alleged perpetrator of that crime or offense with respect to that crime or offense, regardless of whether the student was found to have committed the violation.
- To the public regarding the final results of any disciplinary proceeding in which the student was alleged to have committed a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and pursuant to the disciplinary proceeding the student was found to have violated a university disciplinary rule or policy.
- To parents of a student who is under the age of 21 regarding the student's violation of federal, state, or local law, or any university rule or policy, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
- To the court where the student has initiated legal action against the university or the university has initiated legal action against the student.
Procedure to Inspect Education Records
A student has the right to inspect his or her educational records and to challenge the contents. To review records, a student must make a request in writing to the Custodian of those records. (See Custodians of Records, page 20) The written request must identify as precisely as possible the record or records he or she wishes to inspect.
Procedure to Amend Education Records
If a student believes the information in his or her education record contains information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights of privacy, the student should submit a written request for amendment to the appropriate custodian of the record (See the list of Custodian of Records, page 20). The written request should clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed and specify why it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights of privacy. The university will notify the student within a reasonable time regarding whether or not the record will be amended. If the university denies the student's request for amendment of his or her record, the student has the right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment.
**Note: This procedure does not govern grade appeals.
Procedures for a Hearing Under FERPA
- To request a hearing pursuant to the university's denial of a student's request to amend information in his or her education record that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights of privacy, the student should submit a written request for a hearing that clearly identifies the part of the record the student wants changed and specifying why it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights of privacy to the custodian of the record that the student seeks to challenge.
- The university will hold a hearing within a reasonable time after receiving the student's written request for a hearing.
- The university will give the student notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing, reasonably in advance of the hearing.
- The hearing will be conducted by an individual who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. The hearing official will be appointed by the vice president to whom the custodian of the records in question reports.
- The student will be provided the opportunity to present evidence supporting his or her allegation that his or her education record contains information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights of privacy. The student may, at his or her own expense, be assisted during the hearing by one individual, including legal counsel. The student must notify the hearing official no later than three (3) business days before the hearing that he or she will have legal counsel present at the hearing.
- The custodian of the record in question and the author of that record (if appropriate) will also be provided an opportunity to respond to the student's allegations.
- Upon hearing all of the evidence, the hearing official will render a written determination within a reasonable time after the hearing. The written determination will include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the hearing official's determination.
- Any information in the student's education record that is determined to be inaccurate, misleading, or a violation of the student's rights of privacy will be amended with the correct information and the student will be notified in writing of the change.
- If it is determined that the student record is correct and does not merit amendment, the university will notify the student of his or her right to place a statement in the education record commenting on the information in the record, and/or presenting any reasons for disagreeing with the university's decision.
- Any statement placed by the student in his or her education record shall remain a part of the record for as long as the record is maintained by the university.
Custodians of Records
Office of the University Registrar
128 Welcome Center
Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid
120 Welcome Center
Director of Student Financial Services
124 Welcome Center
Director of the Student Health Center
100 Health Center
Director of Learning and Assessment
210 Student Service Center
Director of University Career Services
106 Student Service Center
Dean of Students
252 University Center
Dean of the appropriate college
The Texas Success Initiative and the Texas Higher Education Assessment (formerly TASP)
All undergraduate students must have their Texas Success Initiative (TSI) status established by the Undergraduate Scholars@UH. The UScholars is the only UH office that can determine TSI status. New students will not be able to register for classes until TSI status has been set.