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Policies & Regulations - Student Records (Handling of)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 protects the privacy of students. Under this Act, students have the right to inspect and review their education records and have the right to challenge records when they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights.

Application of the Act

This Act applies to students presently enrolled at UMaine, former students, and alumni, but not to applicants seeking admission to the institution.

Educational Records and Information Maintained

The University does not maintain a single record or file consisting of all materials and information pertaining to students in any one location. Instead, various segments of the record are kept in a variety of offices. The types of records and the custodian of each record is outlined below:

The term “educational records” does not include:

Directory Information

The University of Maine has designated certain information contained in the education records of its students as directory information for purposes of FERPA. Such directory information may be publicly shared by the University unless the student has taken formal action to restrict its release. Directory information includes; name, address, phone number, major and degree, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of student athletes, most recent previous college or university attended, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, enrollment status (full-time or part-time), grade level and date of birth. Students can make a request that their directory information not be released at any time while they are an enrolled student at the University. The Office of Student Records has a form to fill out for this request. The request will be honored until such time as the student requests otherwise in writing. In the event that such written notification is not filed, the University assumes that the student does not object to the release of the directory information. Once a student is no longer enrolled at the University s/he can no longer request that their directory information not be released.

Student Rights

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

I. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records.

II. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy.

After reviewing a record, a student has the right to challenge the content of the record as being inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy. For purposes of this policy, a student may not challenge the judgment of a grade which has been assigned to his or her performance in a course but may challenge the accuracy of the recording of a grade.

III. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The University of Maine will disclose information from a student’s education records only with the written consent of the student, except for disclosures to the following:

Records released to any individual or group shall be transmitted on condition that the individual or group is informed that they may not permit any other party to have access to such information without the written consent of the student. The recipient shall also be notified in writing that if compliance with this requirement is not acceptable, all records shall be returned, unused, to the institution. The prohibition on the re-release of records does not apply in the case of disclosures of directory information; disclosures pursuant to a subpoena, court order or litigation; disclosure to the parents of a dependent student; disclosures to the student; or disclosures of the final results of a disciplinary hearing involving an alleged crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense where a violation was committed.

Each office that maintains educational records shall maintain a record for each student with that student’s education record. The record shall list all individuals (except institution officials and court or law enforcement officials described above), agencies or organizations which have requested or obtained access to and each disclosure of the student’s education record.

IV. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by The University of Maine to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC, 20202-4605

Expunging Records

The official academic record of a student is maintained in perpetuity by the institution. The Student Records Office is the custodian of this record. No other record is officially designated as a permanent record. Other records can be expunged at the discretion of specific department heads wherein a record resides. For example, the undergraduate Admissions Office expunges records of applicants who do not enroll after two years, while records of applicants who do enroll are maintained in perpetuity. The Office of Student Financial Aid expunges records five years after the student’s last academic year of attendance. It should be noted that access rights shall be honored prior to the destruction of records where the student has requested such access.

Departments and offices which maintain educational records may have specific policies regarding access to and retention of such records which are consistent with this Policy and FERPA. Students seeking information about those specific policies should contact the particular department or office which is the custodian of the record.

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Contact Information

Student Handbook
5748 Memorial Union
Orono , ME 04469-5748
Phone: (207) 581-1406 | Fax: (207) 581-4215
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System