FERPA For Students

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Education Record

Records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student, maintained by an educational institution.

Release of Information Contained on Student Education Records

(Excerpt from URI Student Handbook)

Procedures for the release and disclosure of student records maintained by the University are in large measure governed by state and federal laws.

  • Where the law is silent, the University is guided by the principle that the privacy of an individual is of great importance and that as much information in a student’s file as possible should be disclosed to the student on request.
  • A current or former student has the right to inspect and review official records, files, and data directly related to that student.
  • This right does not extend to applicants, those denied admission to the University, or those who were admitted but did not enroll.
  • Students should be aware that in accordance with federal law, the University may, without consent, release information from conduct records if the record contains violations involving violence or issues of safety and well-being.

The University maintains student records primarily for educational purposes, although student records are maintained for other purposes such as health and employment (University Manual section 6.12.21). Guidelines incorporating the requirements of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 are published in the Student Handbook.

  • Third parties, including the University police, do not have access to personally identifiable records or information pertaining to students without the written consent of the student who specifies that the records be released, except in cases of health and safety.
  • Parents are considered third parties. However,  as a student, you may assign guest access to e-Campus to a third party to view your billing, academic records, and/or financial aid information. 
  • A guest can be your parent, guardian, grandparent, sibling, employer, or other third party payer. Details to grant third party access can be found here.

Detailed guidelines for the release and disclosure of information from the student records are available from the Dean of Students Office. These guidelines comply with the legal requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended.


Public information may be released or published without the student’s consent. Currently enrolled students may inform the appropriate office that public records should not be released or published (forms for this purpose are available at designated offices or on e- Campus).

Information confirming the following items about individual students is public and available from the offices listed below:

Information TypeOffice Responsible
Full nameEnrollment Services
Campus, local, home address, email addressEnrollment Services
Telephone Listings (campus, local, and home)Enrollment Services
Website AddressEnrollment Services
Data and place of birthEnrollment Services
Major field of studyEnrollment Services
Full/Part-time student statusInvolvement
Participation in officially recognized activitiesMemorial Union/Student Involvement Office
Sports participationSports Information Office
Weight and height of members of athletic teamsSport Information Office
Dates of attendanceEnrollment Services
Degrees and awards receivedEnrollment Services
Most recent previous educational institutionEnrollment Services
Class yearEnrollment Services
Graduation datesEnrollment Services

Manage Your FERPA Restrictions

Directory information is information contained in a student education record that would generally not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. While institutions may designate and release specified items, students have the right to and may block any or all of this information.

Note that students with a FERPA block will generally not appear on publicly released Dean’s Lists or in Commencement Programs.

Log into eCampus and navigate to:

  1. Home 
  2. Self Service 
  3. Campus Personal Information 
  4. FERPA Restrictions

For purposes of this section, the term “official records, files, and data” means material on students pertaining to their status as students, held by any unit or department of the University and intended for University use or to be available to parties outside the University.


All personal information relating to a particular student other than public records as defined above is considered private information. Information which is considered private records includes:

  • Letters of recommendation to which students have waived their right of access
  • Campus law enforcement records held in the campus police station
  • Clinical, medical, counseling, or health records
  • Financial aid records including the financial records of the parents of the student or any information contained therein
  • Private records kept by individual faculty or administrators possibly used as memory aids
  • General advising records, academic evaluations, test scores, transcripts, or other academic records. Additional information regarding FERPA can be found here.

Student records and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

October 17, 2023

Each year, in compliance with federal guidelines, URI provides the university community with information about the Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the many ways the University complies with this federal law, and your rights and responsibilities as students under the law. The law was designed to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through formal and informal hearings.

As a general rule, students attending a college or university, regardless of age, have the right under FERPA to control disclosure of information from their educational records.

FERPA generally requires the University to obtain written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student’s education records. The University may disclose “directory information” without such consent, unless you have notified the school otherwise.

What is directory information?

Directory information is basic information related to a student that the school may include in certain school publications such as yearbooks, graduation programs, sports activity sheets, honor roll or other recognition lists, etc. Some of the information is included in URI’s online directory.

The University of Rhode Island currently designates the following as directory information:

  • Student’s full name
  • Campus, local, home address, email address
  • Telephone listings (campus, local, home, cell)
  • Website address
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Full/part-time status
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Date(s) of attendance
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received
  • The most recent previous educational institution attended
  • Class year
  • Graduation dates
  • Who might receive directory information?

Releasing directory information is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of a student’s privacy. Some examples of outside organizations that might receive directory information include alumni associations, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require schools receiving certain federal funds to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information: names, addresses and telephone listings.

May I opt out of directory information disclosure?

Directory information is considered public information and may be released upon request unless the student activates a “privacy hold” in e-Campus. If you do not want the University to disclose directory information from your education records without your prior written consent you can manage your FERPA restrictions through e-Campus. To do so, log into e-Campus and go to Main Menu, then Self Service, then Campus Personal Information, then FERPA Restrictions.

Can I grant a third party, like parents, access to my information?

As a student, you may assign guest access to e-Campus to a third party to view your billing, academic records, and/or financial aid information. A guest can be a parent, guardian, grandparent, sibling, employer, or other third-party payer. Details to grant third-party access can be found here.

All other information is considered private, and will not be released outside the University without the written permission of the student, unless a specific exception under FERPA applies. Additional information about student records can be found in the Student Handbook.

In addition, school officials within the institution may obtain information from education records without consent when they are performing a task that is specified in their position description or contract; performing a task related to a student’s education or to student discipline; providing a service or benefit related to the student or student’s family; or maintaining safety and security on campus. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the school official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities for the University of Rhode Island. An example of a school official with a legitimate educational interest would be an academic advisor.

The University has defined a school official as:

  • A person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position.
  • A trustee or outside contractor such as health or medical staff, an attorney or auditor acting as an agent for the University.
  • A student, alumni or other person serving on an official committee, such as a scholarship, disciplinary or grievance committee, or who is assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
  • Other examples of “University Officials” include, but are not limited to: collection agents, officials of the National Student Clearinghouse, or the; a person serving on an accreditation team.

How do I request to inspect and review my student educational records?

To access educational records, eligible students must submit a written request to Dr. Carnell Jones Jr., director of Enrollment Services. The letter must identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. Within 45 days of receiving the request, the University will either make arrangements for access and notify the eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected, or the University may provide copies of the records, or portions of the records, for a fee. Students may ask school officials to amend a student’s educational records that they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or which violate the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Students may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

URI FERPA contact: Questions concerning student rights under FERPA should be sent to Director Jones, Green Hall, Kingston, RI 02881 (401-874-9500).

Federal FERPA contact: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-8520.