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FERPA

Frequently Asked Questions

Would emails be considered educational records? Would they be included if the educational record is requested?

In general, emails are not considered a part of an education record. Individual emails may be added to a student's record to provide supporting documentation to an action taken by a university official. Examples may include registration issues, enrollment in a campus event or confirmation of a requested housing assignment.

What information can and cannot be released from my record?

Directory Information is the content about a student that can be released without their consent.

  • Student Name
  • Address (home address on record)
  • Telephone (home phone provided, we do not identify what type of number is as we do not know)
  • Email address (campus email address only)
  • Degrees, honors and awards received
  • Major of study
  • Dates of attendance
  • Class level (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior)
  • Most recent agency or institution attended
  • Participation in official activities or sports teams
  • Height of members of athletic teams

Can I have my directory information restricted?

Yes, if you submit a restriction request form. This prevents staff from releasing any of this information. Students need to carefully consider this option. If you chose to withhold this information the university is not able to validate enrollment or degree data for employment, loan or other third party requestors. If withheld, this hold is in place until rescinded in writing from the student. This hold does not prevent the release of information to university employees with a demonstrated need to know the information.

Is directory information released by the institution on a regular basis?

Many entities ask the university ask for directory information many times it is for solicitation purposes. The university does not actively publish a directory of this information about students, in a purposeful manner, to try and minimize this practice. We have an on-line directory only in which a student's name and campus email address is displayed if the name is imputed in the search feature. If a student has requested their information be restricted, it will not appear in the directory.

Any staff member using the student information system who is working with student data can see an indicator on the record if the student is withholding their directory information. If an inquiry from an outside part comes in, and this indicator is on their record, the request is declined. We can only indicate we do not find a match to this name.

If a third party to the university specifically requests directory information about our students, the request is screened and the amount of information released is limited to directory information only. The third party is responsible for paying a processing fee to cover administrative and material costs.

What types of information is restricted?

Any information that is personally identifiable.
The easy answer is most of it. But here is a list of personal information commonly asked about that is not to be released without a student's permission. This is not an all-inclusive list. But for the most part, if it is not directory information, or the information is not subject to one of the Need to Know exceptions under FERPA, it can't be released.

  • College ID and/or Social Security Number
  • Residency/Citizenship related to tuition status
  • Marital status
  • Any previous name
  • Parent's name/address
  • High school academic information
  • Transfer credits
  • Grades or credits earned
  • Grade point average – rank in class
  • Current class schedule
  • Credit load
  • Attendance records/performance scores
  • Advisor name
  • Academic actions
  • Student misconduct records (except as noted in FERPA)
  • Racial status
  • Visa status

If I call in or email will you release restricted information to me?

If your identity can be verified over the phone the university staff member we will release information to you. You will typically be asked for personal data and academic record information that you are only likely to know. If the person contacting the university is not able to provide accurate answers to our questions, information will not be released other than directory information. Correspondence from a UWGB email address is acceptable proof that the requestor is the student, since this is a password protected email issued to students. If the requestor uses a non-GB email address, we may ask for further clarification and likely provide the response to the UWGB email account only. If there is some concern the non GB email address requestor, is not the student, only directory related information may be released until further verification can be made about the identity of the student.

Do I need to make requests with a signature or can an electronic signature suffice?

A personal signature is preferred; however, a UWGB electronic form initiated using your network username and password, containing your electronic signature is considered a valid request. Since the UWGB email account is password protected a request made from this account and a response that includes an electronic document that contains your scanned signature can be accepted.

This form includes a line to identify a specific expiration date that information can be released to that third party. If no date is provided, the release remains in effect until rescinded in writing.

How is my enrollment and degree verification handled?

Requests from a variety of entities come in on a regular basis to UW-Green Bay. Both enrollment status and degrees earned are releasable as part of directory information. The university can verify total credit enrollment, the type of degree and date a degree is earned to third parties such as employers, insurance companies, etc.

UW-Green Bay has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to provide data about a student's enrollment or degree completion. Third parties can go to the National Student Clearinghouse website to request these records. Currently enrolled students can log into their SIS account to generate an enrollment verification form as a PDF for a variety of third party requestors and either print or email the document at no charge.

How long is an educational record protected under FERPA?

An educational record is protected under FERPA until one of three things occurs:

  • Record is destroyed
  • Record no longer exists
  • Student is deceased (this is confirmed by institution)
Records retention and destruction schedules determine how long a record is kept and allows for destruction in accordance with the University of Wisconsin Records and Retention policy.

Some educational records are deemed permanent such as grade rosters, student transcripts or college catalogs. Some transactional information is kept for a period of time but destroyed in accordance with a set timeline.

If a student provides ID and/or SSN number can I release record information to them?

It is not good practice to use only these criteria to determine identity of requestor. It can be one item confirmed upon initial interaction with a student. You will also want to ask details only they could answer, a good example of a series of questions is: Name while at the institution, birthdate, last four of SSN? When did you first start attending this institution (you are looking for semester year)? Can you identify the address we have on record for you? Can you give me the courses you completed in your last semester of enrollment (if recent)? If not recent, when is the last semester you were here? What degree/major/minor did you earn or were you pursuing at the time?