The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. In accordance with FERPA, the University of Great Falls has adopted the following policies and procedures to protect the privacy rights of students.
A student may inspect and review his/her education records upon request to the appropriate record custodian. The student should submit in writing his/her request which identifies as precisely as possible the records he/she wishes to inspect. The custodian will make the necessary arrangements for access within 45 days after receipt of the written and will notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
The university will disclose information from a student’s education records only with the written consent of the student, except:
- To school officials who have legitimate educational interest in the records.
- To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs.
- In connection with a student’s request for or receipt of financial aid, as needed to assess eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
- If required by a state law requiring disclosure that was adopted before November 19, 1974.
- To organizations conducting authorized studies for or on behalf of the university.
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
- To parents of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependent.
- To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
- To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
The University of Great Falls will maintain a record of all requests for and disclosures of information from a student’s education records. The record will indicate the name of the part making the request and the legitimate interest the party had in requesting or obtaining the information. The record may be reviewed by the student.
The University of Great Falls designates the following categories of student information as public or “directory information.” This information may be disclosed by the institution at all discretion.
Student name (including previous names), current enrollment, dates of attendance, class standing, previous institution(s) attended, major field of studies, awards, honors, degree(s) title and date conferred, and full-time or part-time status, local and permanent address, telephone numbers, student email address, past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, including physical factors (height, weight of athletes).
Currently enrolled students may either give permission to release all directory information or decide not to disclose any of the directory information. To withhold disclosure, written notification is required on a Disclosure of Directory Information form, available in the Registrar’s Office. Directory information will be withheld indefinitely until the Registrar’s Office receives in writing a revocation of the request for nondisclosure.
The university will honor a request to withhold information but cannot assume responsibility to contact the student for subsequent permission to release. The university will not change the student’s disclosure status until the student notifies the university in writing. Regardless of the effect upon the student, the institution assumes no liability as a consequence of honoring instructions that directory information be withheld. The University of Great Falls assumes that failure on the part of any student to request specifically the withholding of directory information indicates approval for disclosure. If the student does not return the Disclosure of Directory Information form to the Registrar’s Office by the specified date, the university will assume that implied permission has been granted to release all directory information.
The University of Great Falls will not release any student information to parents of a student unless one of two conditions is met:
- Students can complete a release of information and file the document with the Registrar’s Office. This document will allow access to one or more parents until the student revokes the permission.
Download Release of Information Form
- The student provides documentation that the parents claim them as a dependant for tax purposes. Students will need to bring copies of tax documents from the most recent filing year to the Registrar’s Office to prove dependency. Access will be granted for one academic year based on this documentation.
For more information about the University of Great Falls FERPA policy, please see the university catalog (link to FERPA section of the current catalog) or contact the Registrar’s Office.
For further information on FERPA legislation, please visit the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO)
Students who have not yet done so can register to vote in the state of Montana by following this link http://sos.mt.gov/ELB/Voter_Information.asp. The State of Montana site will provide all the information you need to determine your eligibility to vote, voting locations and how to register.
The Registrar’s Office is located on the first floor of the Student Center. Our hours are 8:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday.
General Questions/Concerns firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Great Falls
1301 20th Street South
Great Falls, MT 59405