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University of Maryland, College Park Policy and Procedures on the Disclosure of Student Education Records

Consolidated USM and UMD Policies and Procedures


(APPROVED BY THE PRESIDENT 1 AUGUST 1991; updated April 15, 1996, June 2, 1997, and October 1, 2002 by President's Legal Office)

  • It is the policy of UMCP to comply with the requirements of the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, known as the Buckley Amendment, concerning the disclosure of student records. Following is an outline of the policy, and an explanation of the procedures by which students may obtain access to education records. A copy of this policy shall be furnished annually to each student with registration materials.


  • "Attendance" " includes but is not limited to attendance in person or by correspondence; and the period during which a person is working under a work-study program.

    "Directory Information" means information which would generally not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. It includes, but is not limited to, a student's name, address, telephone listing, e-mail address, date and place of birth, major field of study, full-time/part-time status, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended.

    "Disclosure" means to permit access to or the release, transfer, or other communication of education records to any party by any means, including oral, written, or electronic means.

    "Education Records" means those records maintained by UMCP which contain information directly related to a student except:

    • 1. Records made by instructors, professors, and administrators for their own use, and not shown to others.

      2. Records maintained by UMCP Police solely for law enforcement purposes and kept separately from the education records described above.

      3. Records of employment which relate exclusively to the individual in that individual's capacity as an employee, and are not available for use for any other purpose.

      (NOTE: If a currently enrolled student is employed as a result of his or her status as a student, records relating to that employment are education records.)

      4. Records on a student who is eighteen years of age or older made by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional made or used only for treatment purposes and available only to persons providing treatment.

      (NOTE: Treatment for the purposes of this definition does not include remedial educational activities.)

      5. Alumni records which contain only information relating to a person's activities after that person is no longer a student at UMCP and do not relate to that person as a student.

    "Parent" means a parent of a student, and includes a natural or adoptive parent, a guardian, or, in the absence of natural or adoptive parents, an individual acting as a parent.

    "Party" means an individual, agency, institution, or organization.

    "Personally identifiable information" means a student's name, a name of a student's parent or family members, an address of a student or a student's family, a personal identifier, such as a social security number or student number, a list of personal characteristics or any information that would make a student's identity traceable.

    "Record"means any information recorded in any way including but not limited to handwriting, print, tape, film, microfilm, and microfiche.

    "Student" means any individual who is or has been in attendance at UMCP and on whom education records are maintained.


  • Each student in attendance at UMCP has a right to inspect and review his or her education records.
    A. Procedure
    • A student may waive the right of access to confidential recommendations in the following areas:
      • 1. admission to any educational institution;

        2. job placement;

        3. receipt of honors and awards.

      The waiver must be in writing, and UMCP shall not require such waivers as a condition to admission, or the receipt of any service or benefit. If right of access is waived, a student will be notified, upon written request, of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations. Such recommendations shall be used only for the purpose for which they were specifically intended. A waiver may be revoked in writing at any time, and will only apply to subsequent recommendations. 

    • 1. Form of Request

      Requests for access to education records must be made in writing, signed by the student, and must include the student's social security number.

      2. Place of Request

      Requests are made to:

      • Registrar's Office
        Mitchell Building
        College Park, Maryland 20742-5231

      3. Response by UMCP

      UMCP will comply with a request for access within a reasonable time, not to exceed 45 days. Whenever possible, arrangements shall be made for the student to read his or her records in the presence of a staff member.

      4. Reproduction of Records

      A student may ordinarily obtain copies of education records by paying the cost of reproduction. The fee for photocopies is $.25 per page. There is no charge for staff time to search for or collect education records. Only copies of a student's current UMCP transcript will be provided. Official University of Maryland transcripts with the seal of the University will be provided at a higher cost.


    B. Types and Locations of Education Records Maintained at UMCP

    • (NOTE: All requests must be routed through the Registrar's Office.)

      1. Admissions

      Applications and transcripts from institutions previously attended.

      • a. Undergraduate:
        • Director of Admissions
          Mitchell Building

        b. Graduate:

        • Director of Graduate Records
          Lee Building

      2. Registrations

      All on-going academic and biographical records, undergraduate and graduate:

      • Director of Registrations
        Mitchell Building

      3. Departments

      Departmental Offices
      Chair of the Department

      4. Deans

      • Miscellaneous records
        Dean's office of each school

      5. Resident Life

      • Student's housing records
        Director of Resident Life

      6. Advisors

      Letters of evaluation, personal information sheet, transcript, test scores (with student permission).

      Pre-law advisor: Hornbake Library
      Pre-dental advisor: Hornbake Library
      Pre-medical advisor: Hornbake Library

      7. Judicial Affairs

      Student's judicial and disciplinary records

      • Director of Judicial Programs
        Mitchell Building

      8. Counseling Center

      Biographical data, summaries of conversations with students, test results

      • Director
        Shoemaker Hall

      (NOTE: Where records are used only for treatment purposes, they are not education records and are not subject to this policy.)

      9. Financial Aid

      Financial Aid applications, needs analysis statements, awards made


      • Director of Financial Aid
        Lee Building


      • Deans' Offices

      (NOTE: There is no student access to parents' confidential statements.)

      10. Career Development Center

      Recommendations, unofficial copies of academic records

      • Director
        Hornbake Library

      11. Office of the Bursar

      Student accounts receivable, records of students' financial charges and credits with UMCP

      • Bursar
        Lee Building

    C. Waiver of Access to Confidential Recommendations


  • It is the policy of UMCP to limit disclosure of personally identifiable information without a student's prior written consent, subject to the following limitations and exceptions:

    A. Directory Information (defined above)

    • 1. This information may be disclosed and may appear in public documents unless a student files a written notice not to disclose any or all of the information within three weeks of the first day of the semester in which the student begins each year. This notice must be filed annually with the Registrar's Office within the allotted time to avoid automatic disclosure of directory information.

      2. Students will be given annual notice of the categories of information designated as directory information.


    B. Prior Consent Not Required

    • Prior consent is not required for disclosure of education records to the following parties:
      • 1. School officials of UMCP who are or may be in a position to use the information in furtherance of a legitimate educational objective.

        A school official is:

        • a. A person employed by the University of Maryland System in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position.
          b. A member of the Board of Regents.
          c. A person employed by or under contract to the University to perform a special task, such as an attorney or auditor.

        A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is:

        • a. Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or by a contract agreement.
          b. Performing a task related to a student's education.
          c. Performing a task related to the discipline of a student.
          d. Providing a service or benefit relating to the student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid.

        2. Officials of other schools in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is enrolled. A student will be provided with a copy of the records which have been transferred upon request and payment of copying fees as described above.

        3. Authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of Education, the Commissioner of the Office of Education, the Director of the National Institute of Education, the Administrator of the Veterans' Administration, the Assistant Secretary of Education, and State educational authorities, but only in connection with the audit or evaluation of federally supported education programs, or in connection with the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements relating to these programs. Subject to controlling federal law, these officials will protect information received so as not to permit personal identification of students to outsiders.

        4. Authorized persons and organizations who are given work in connection with a student's application for or receipt of financial aid to the extent necessary.

        5. State and local officials to which such information is required to be reported by effective state law adopted prior to November 19, 1974.

        6. Organizations conducting education studies for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student programs, and improving instruction. The studies shall be conducted so as not to permit personal identification of students to outsiders, and the information is to be destroyed when no longer needed for these purposes.

        7. Accrediting organizations for purposes necessary to carry out their functions.

        8. Parents of a student who is dependent for income tax purposes.

        9. Appropriate parties in connection with an emergency, where knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

        10. In response to a court order or subpoena. Unless the issuing entity orders the university against prior notification, the university will make reasonable efforts to notify the student before complying with the court order.

        11. To an alleged victim of any crime of violence of the results of any institutional disciplinary proceedings against the alleged perpetrator of that crime with respect to that crime.


      C. Prior Consent Required In All Other Cases

      • UMCP will not release personally identifiable information in education records, or allow access to those records without prior consent from the student. The consent must be in writing, signed by the student, and dated. The student must specify the records to be disclosed, the identity of the recipient, and the purpose of the disclosure. A copy of the record disclosed will be provided to the student upon request and payment of copy fees described above.

      D. Record of Disclosures

      • 1. Maintenance of List

        UMCP shall maintain a list of each request and each disclosure of personally identifiable information with each student's education records. The list shall include:

        • a. the parties who have requested or received the information;
          b. the legitimate interest the parties had in requesting or receiving the information.

        2. Inspection of List

        The list of disclosures may be inspected by:

        • a. the student;
          b. the official custodian of the record; and
          c. other UMCP and governmental officials.

        3. Exceptions

        The following disclosures are not listed:

        • a. disclosures to the student;
          b. disclosures pursuant to written consent;
          c. disclosures to instructional or administrative officials of UMCP;
          d. disclosures of directory information.


    • It is the policy of UMCP to provide students the opportunity to seek corrections to education records which are believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or which violate the right to privacy or other rights.

      A. Request to Correct an Education Record

      • 1. A request must be in writing to the Registrar's Office.

        2. A request must contain:

        • a. the specific document(s) being challenged; and
          b. the basis for the challenge.

        3. UMCP shall decide within a reasonable time whether to amend the document(s). The student shall be notified of the decision in writing, and if the decision is to refuse to amend, the student shall be notified of the right to a hearing.

      B. Right to a Hearing

      • Upon request, a student shall be provided an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of education records. A request for a hearing must be made in writing to the Registrar's Office. Within a reasonable time, the student shall be notified in writing of the date, place, and time. The student shall be given reasonable advance notice of the hearing.

      C. Conduct of Hearing

      • 1. The hearing shall be conducted by a UMCP official with no direct interest in the outcome.

        2. The student shall have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence, and may be represented by individuals of his or her choice, including an attorney. The cost for such representation shall be the responsibility of the student.



      D. Decision

      • 1. The student shall be notified in writing within a reasonable amount of time.

        2. The decision is to be based solely upon evidence presented at the hearing, and must include a summary of the basis of the decision.

        3. In cases where the challenged information is found to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, the education records shall be amended accordingly within a reasonable time.

        4. In cases where the challenged information is not found to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of a student, the student shall be informed in writing of the right to place in the challenged record a statement commenting on the information and explaining any reasons for disagreeing with the decision.

        5. The statements described above shall be kept as part of the student's record and disclosed whenever that portion of the record is disclosed.



    • Student alleging noncompliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may file a complaint with the Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.