What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. ยง 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.  UNL protects student privacy in accordance with FERPA which places students in control of access to their academic record.  For a detailed explanation of this federal policy, please see 'The Law' page on this site. 

If you want to test your knowledge, take the informal quiz. If you still have questions, check out the FAQ page or contact the University Registrar.


Because FERPA allows only the student (not the parent or spouse) to control who has access to their academic record, only directory information can be disclosed to parties other than the student.  Official University employees may have access to portions of the student record if their is an education need to know.  Students can authorize UNL employees to discuss their academic record with other parties. You can check for this authorization by viewing the FERPA release online in MyRED.

What information can be disclosed?

Information that is considered directory information is allowed to be shared without students' consent if the student has not restricted their information:

  • Student's name
  • Local address
  • Permanent address
  • Telephone number
  • Year at the University
  • Dates of attendance
  • Academic college and major field of study
  • Enrollment status (undergraduate/graduate, full-time / part-time)
  • Participation in officially recognized activities/sports
  • Degrees, honors and awards received
  • Most recent educational agency or institution attended

What are some examples of information that cannot be disclosed?

  • Students' grades
  • Students' course schedules
  • Details of conversations between the student and the instructor
  • Students' academic standing

How do distribute information in compliance with FERPA?

One of the easiest ways to comply with FERPA is to use secure mediums when disclosing information to the student.  For example, use the learning management system (Blackboard, Canvas) or MyPLAN.