University of Michigan complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the federal law that governs release of and access to student education records.
A student is an individual who is or has been enrolled in and attended credit bearing courses at the University and for whom the University maintains education records.
- Education records
Education records include those records which contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained by the University or by a person acting for the University. The following are not Education Records:
- records kept in the sole possession of the maker as a personal memory aid,
- law enforcement records,
- employment records relating to individuals employed by the University, except where employment is conditioned upon status as a student,
- records related to treatment provided by a health professional when maintained solely for treatment purposes,
- records created or received about an individual after that person is no longer a student if not related to that student’s attendance, e.g. alumni records,
- materials in any admissions files, until the student has been admitted to, and has attended the U-M school or college for which the materials were submitted, and
- all other records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of Education Records.
- Directory information
Directory information may appear in public documents and may otherwise be released to individuals outside the University without the student's specific consent, unless the student has opted out of disclosure as described below.
The University of Michigan has designated the following items as directory information:
- email address
- telephone number
- UM school or college
- class level
- major field
- dates of attendance at the University of Michigan
- current enrollment status
- degree(s) received and date(s) awarded
- honors and awards received
- participation in recognized activities
- previous school(s) attended
- height and weight of members of intercollegiate athletic teams
- Legitimate educational interest
Legitimate educational interest is the need to review an education record in order for a University official to carry out his or her responsibilities or to conduct learning analytics. Learning analytics means the use of education records for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs.
- A University official
A University official is (i) any person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support position; (ii) a person elected to the Board of Regents; (iii) any person serving on an official University committee or assisting another University official in performing his or her tasks; or (iv) a contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other person who is performing a specific task on behalf of the University. With regard to (iv), such person is considered a University official only if the task they perform is one for which the University would otherwise use its own employees and they are under the direct control of the University or University official with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from Education Records.
- Authorized disclosures without the student's prior written consent
The right to inspect and review your Education Records except:
- financial information furnished by your parents in support of an application for financial aid or an application for in-state tuition,
- confidential letters of recommendation that were placed in your file prior to January 1, 1975, and
- confidential letters of recommendation concerning admission, employment, or honorary recognition, for which you have waived access. (The University may not require you to sign a waiver in order to obtain services, but a person writing a recommendation may insist on a waiver as a condition for his or her writing it.)
Education Records are maintained in a number of University offices. Requests to review records must be made in writing to the responsible official of each office that maintains the records at issue. The responsible office will comply with the request within 45 days of its receipt.
The right to request an amendment of your Education Records that you believe are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights. If you wish to request an amendment, you must submit a statement to the University official responsible for the record or send an email to email@example.com, clearly identifying the part of the record you want changed, and explaining why you believe it is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights. That office will review your request and notify you of its decision. If it determines not to amend the records as requested, that office will advise you regarding appropriate next steps, which include the ability to request a hearing.
The right to consent before the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your Education Records, except in the case of Authorized Disclosures.
The right to opt out of the disclosure of your directory information. Please note, the University does not routinely disclose directory information to third parties for marketing purposes. If you do not want the University to release those items designated as directory information, you must file a written request to that effect with the Office of the Registrar. However, you should carefully consider the consequences of that action before making the decision to do so. Information is not withheld selectively. If you choose to have directory information withheld, all items designated as directory information will be withheld from everyone who inquires unless disclosure is authorized under another FERPA exception. If you have requested non-disclosure of directory information and wish to repeal that request, you must file a written request to that effect with the Office of the Registrar.
The right to file a complaint to federal officials if you believe that there has been a violation of the rights afforded you under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. The complaint must be submitted in writing within 180 days of the alleged violation to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U. S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
Questions about the policies and procedures of any unit should be directed to the head of that unit. Questions about the University's "Policies on Student Rights and Student Records" or about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 should be directed to:
LS&A Suite 5000
500 S. State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382