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Section III: Academic Affairs

Policy Number: III-6.30(A)

University of Maryland Policy and Procedures on the Disclosure of Student Education Records

(Approved by the President technical amendments June 2, 1997,October 1, 2002,amended )


  1. It is the policy of UMD to comply with the requirements of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, concerning the disclosure of student records. FERPA affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
    1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records.
    2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records.
    3. The right to provide written consent before UMD discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
    4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by UMD to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
  2. Following is an outline of the policy, and an explanation of the procedures by which students may obtain access to education records. Accordingly, UMD shall provide students with annual notification of their rights pursuant to FERPA.


  1. “Attendance” includes but is not limited to attendance in person or by paper correspondence, videoconference, satellite, Internet, or other electronic information and telecommunication technologies for students who are not physically present in the classroom; and the period during which a person is working under a work-study program.
  2. “Directory Information” means information which would generally not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. It includes, but is not limited to, a student’s name, address, telephone listing, e-mail address, date and place of birth, major field of study, full-time/part-time status, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended.
  3. “Disclosure” means to permit access to or the release, transfer, or other communication of, PII contained in education records by any means, including oral, written, or electronic means, to any party except the party identified as the party that provided or created the record.
  4. “Education Records” means those records directly related to a student and maintained by UMD or by a party acting on UMD’s behalf. Education records do not include:
    1. Sole possession records: records that are kept in the sole possession of the maker, are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.
    2. Records maintained by the UMD Police Department solely for law enforcement purposes and kept separately from the education records described above.
    3. Records of employment which relate exclusively to the individual in that individual’s capacity as an employee, and are not available for use for any other purpose.(NOTE: If a currently enrolled student is employed as a result of their status as a student, records relating to that employment are education records.)
    4. Medical records on a student who is eighteen years of age or older made by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional made or used only for treatment purposes and available only to persons providing treatment.(NOTE: Treatment for the purposes of this definition does not include remedial educational activities.)
    5. Post-attendance records: also called alumni records, are records which contain only information relating to a person’s activities after that person is no longer a student at UMD and do not relate to that person as a student.
    6. Grades on peer-graded papers before they are collected and recorded by a teacher.
  5. “Eligible Student” means a student who has reached the age of 18 or is attending UMD.
  6. “Parent” means a parent of a student, and includes a natural or adoptive parent, a guardian, or, in the absence of natural or adoptive parents, an individual acting as a parent.
  7. “Party” means an individual, agency, institution, or organization.
  8. “Personally identifiable information” or “PII” means data or information which includes, but is not limited to, a student’s name; a name of a student’s parent or family member; an address of a student or a student’s family; a personal identifier, such as a social security number, University Identification Number (UID), or biometric record; other indirect identifiers, such as mother’s maiden name; other information that alone, or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student and that would allow a reasonable person in the UMD community who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances to identify the student with reasonable certainty; or information requested by a person who UMD reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to whom the education record relates.
  9. “Record” means any information or data recorded in any medium (e.g., handwriting, print, tape, film, microfilm, microfiche, database, or any form of electronic data storage including emails).
  10. “School Official” is a person employed by any institution within the University System of Maryland in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff role; a member of the Board of Regents; or a person engaged, employed by, or under contract with UMD to perform a special task, such as an attorney, auditor, or student serving on a UMD committee (e.g., University Student Judiciary, Honor Council, Standing Review Committee, scholarship & awards committees, etc.).
  11. “Student Recruiting Information” is information identified in the Solomon Amendment that UMD is required to provide to military recruiters upon request. Those items are: student name, addresses, telephone listings, age (or year of birth), class level, academic major, degrees received, and the most recent educational institution in which the student was enrolled.


  1. Each student in attendance at UMD has a right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days after the day UMD receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school 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 school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. Procedure
    1. Form of RequestRequests for access to education records must be made in writing and signed by the student.
    2. Place of RequestRequests are made to:Office of the Registrar1130 Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. BuildingCollege Park, Maryland 20742-5231
    1. Response by UMDUMD will comply with a request for access within a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 45 days after UMD receives a request for access. Whenever possible, arrangements shall be made for the student to read the records in the presence of a staff member.
    2. Reproduction of RecordsA student may ordinarily obtain copies of education records by paying the cost of reproduction. The fee for photocopies is $0.25 per page. There is no charge for staff time to search for or collect education records. Only copies of a student’s current UMD transcript will be provided. However, an official UMD transcript can be provided upon specific request of the student and subsequent payment of costs for the document.
  3. Types and Locations of Education Records Maintained at UMD(NOTE: All requests must be routed through the Office of the Registrar.)
    1. Admissions (e.g., applications and transcripts from institutions previously attended)
      1. UndergraduateDirector of Undergraduate Admissions1130 Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Building
      2. GraduateDirector of Graduate RecordsLee Building
    2. Records & Registration Services (e.g., all ongoing academic and biographical records, undergraduate and graduate)Office of the Registrar1130 Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Building
    3. DepartmentsDepartmental OfficesChair or Head of the Department
    4. DeansDean’s Office of each School/College
    5. Resident Life (e.g., student’s housing records)Director of Resident Life
    6. Advisors (e.g., with student permission: letters of evaluation, personal information sheet, transcript, test scores)
    7. Office of Student Conduct (e.g., student’s judicial and disciplinary records)Director of the Office of Student Conduct1130 Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Building
    8. Counseling Center (e.g., biographical data, summaries of conversations with students, test results)Director of the Counseling CenterShoemaker Building(NOTE: Where records are used only for treatment purposes, they are not education records and are not subject to this policy.)
    9. Financial Aid (e.g., financial Aid applications, needs analysis statements, awards made)Director of Financial AidLee Building(NOTE: There is no student access to parents’ confidential statements.)
    10. University Career Center (e.g., recommendations and unofficial copies of academic records)Director of the Career CenterHornbake Library
    11. Office of Student Financial Services (e.g., student accounts receivable, records of students’ financial charges and credits with UMD)Office of Student Financial ServicesLee Building
  4. Waiver of Access to Confidential Recommendations
    1. A student may waive any or all of their rights to review confidential letters of recommendation, subject to the following conditions:
      1. The waiver must be in writing, signed by the student, regardless of age.
      2. UMD shall not require such waivers as a condition to admission, or the receipt of any service or benefit.
      3. If right of access is waived, a student will be notified, upon written request, of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations. Such recommendations shall be used only for the purpose for which they were specifically intended.
    2. A waiver may be revoked in writing at any time; however, by revoking it, the student does not have the right to inspect and review documents collected while the waiver was in force.


It is the policy of UMD to provide students the opportunity to request that amendments be made to their education records which are believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or which violate the right to privacy or other rights.

  1. Request to Amend an Education Record
    1. A request must be in writing to the Office of the Registrar.
    2. A request must contain:
      1. the specific document(s) being challenged; and
      2. the basis for the challenge.
    3. UMD shall decide within a reasonable period of time whether to amend the document(s). The student shall be notified of the decision in writing, and if the decision is to refuse to amend, the student shall be notified of the right to a hearing.
  2. Right to a Hearing
    1. Upon request, a student shall be provided an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of education records.
    2. A request for a hearing must be made in writing to the Office of the Registrar.
    3. Within a reasonable period of time, the student shall be given reasonable advance notice in writing of the date, place, and time.
  3. Conduct of Hearing
    1. The hearing shall be conducted by a UMD official with no direct interest in the outcome.
    2. The student shall have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence, and may be represented by individuals of their choice, including an attorney. The cost for such representation shall be the responsibility of the student.
  4. Decision
    1. The student shall be notified in writing within a reasonable period of time.
    2. The decision is to be based solely upon evidence presented at the hearing, and must include a summary of the basis of the decision.
    3. In cases where the challenged information is found to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, the education records shall be amended accordingly within a reasonable time.
    4. In cases where the challenged information is not found to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of a student, the student shall be informed in writing of the right to place in the challenged record a statement commenting on the information and explaining any reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
    5. The statements described above shall be kept as part of the student’s record and disclosed whenever that portion of the record is disclosed.


It is the policy of UMD to limit disclosure of PII without a student’s prior written consent, subject to the following limitations and exceptions:

  1. Directory Information
    1. This information may be disclosed and may appear in public documents unless a student files a written notice not to disclose any or all of the information (i.e., opts out). Such notice must be filed with the Office of the Registrar.
    2. Students will be given annual notice of the categories of information designated as directory information.
  2. Prior Consent Not RequiredPrior consent is not required for disclosure of education records in several circumstances. These circumstances include disclosure:
    1. To the student.
    2. To anyone, if UMD has obtained the prior written consent of the student.
    3. To anyone, in response to request for directory information, unless the student has opted out.
    4. To UMD school officials determined to have a legitimate educational interest. They may access student education records within the scope of performing their job duties.A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is:
      1. Performing a task that has been assigned as part of their duties or a position description or contract.
      2. Performing a task related to a student’s education.
      3. Performing a task related to the discipline of a student.
      4. Providing a service or benefit relating to the student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.
    5. To officials of another institution of post-secondary education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled, if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer. A student will be provided with a copy of the records which have been transferred upon request and payment of copying fees as described above.
    6. To authorized representatives of the following government entities, if the disclosure is in connection with the audit or evaluation of federal- or state-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements that relate to those programs: U.S. Comptroller General, U.S. Secretary of Education, U.S. Attorney General or state and local educational authorities, such as the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), the authority that is responsible for supervising UMD’s education programs.Subject to controlling federal law, these officials will protect information received so as not to permit personal identification of students to outsiders.
    7. To authorized persons and organizations, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or an employer, in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
    8. To state and local officials to which such information is required to be reported by effective state law adopted prior to November 19, 1974.
    9. To organizations conducting education studies for, or on behalf of, UMD for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests; administering student programs; and improving instruction. The studies shall be conducted so as not to permit personal identification of students to outsiders, and the information is to be destroyed when no longer needed for these purposes.
    10. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
    11. To either parent of a student who is claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes by at least one parent.
    12. To parents when their student (under age 21) is found to have violated UMD’s alcohol or drug policies.
    13. To appropriate parties when UMD determines that disclosure is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals and the information will assist in resolving the emergency.
    14. In response to a court order or subpoena, including ex parte orders under the USA Patriot Act. Unless the issuing entity orders UMD against prior notification, UMD will make reasonable efforts to notify the student before complying with the court order or subpoena.
    15. To an alleged victim of a crime of violence when the disclosure is the result of a disciplinary hearing regarding the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime.
    16. To anyone requesting the final results of a disciplinary hearing against an alleged perpetrator who has been found in violation of the UMD Code of Student Conduct or UMD Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures relating to a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense.
    17. To the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the purpose of complying with a request from ICE relative to UMD’s participation in the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS).
    18. To military recruiters who request “Student Recruiting Information” for recruiting purposes only (e.g., Solomon Amendment).
    19. To the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for purposes of complying with the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.
    20. When the disclosure concerns sex offenders and other individuals required to register under state or federal law, and the information was provided to the University under 42 U.S. C. 14071 and applicable federal guidelines.
  3. Prior Consent Required In All Other Cases
    1. UMD will not release PII in education records, or allow access to those records without prior consent from the student.
    2. The consent must be in writing, signed by the student, and dated. The consent will remain in effect until rescinded by the student, or its purpose is achieved.
    3. The student must specify the records to be disclosed, the identity of the recipient, and the purpose of the disclosure.
    4. A copy of the record disclosed will be provided to the student upon request and payment of copying fees described above.
  4. Record of Disclosures
    1. Maintenance of List: UMD shall maintain a list of each request and each disclosure of PII with each student’s education records. The list shall include:
      1. the parties who have requested and/or received the information; and
      2. the legitimate interest the parties had in requesting and/or receiving the information.
    2. Inspection of List: The list of disclosures may be inspected by:
      1. the student;
      2. the official custodian of the record; and
      3. other UMD and governmental officials.
    3. ExceptionsDisclosures in the following circumstances do not need to be recorded:
      1. disclosures to the student;
      2. disclosures pursuant to written consent;
      3. disclosures to school officials including instructional or administrative officials of UMD;
      4. disclosures of directory information; and
      5. disclosures related to judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas.


  1. Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by UMD to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:Family Policy Compliance OfficeU.S. Department of Education400 Independence Avenue, S.W.Washington, D.C. 20202