Access to Records

Who can access student records?

FERPA permits university officials to access and use student records for legitimate educational purposes.  Other than those identified below, no other person or organization has a right to review a student's education record without the expressed consent of the student.
A "University Official" is defined as:
  • A person employed by USW in any faculty or staff position
  • A temporary substitute for a faculty or staff member
  • Federal and state agencies listed in the Act
  • Organizations or entities whom USW designates by contract as conducting business or performing services on its behalf
  • Parents or legal guardians of the student provided the parent or guardian can establish the student's dependency as defined by Internal Revenue Code
A "Legitimate Educational Purpose" is defined as a university official's need to know in order to perform:
  • An administrative task specified in the official's position description
  • A supervisory or instructional task directly related to a student's education
  • A service or benefit for the student such as health care, counseling, student financial aid, or student job placement, etc.
What this means is that access is issued on a "Need to Know" basis to those with a legitimate educational interest.  Therefore, you will have access to information necessary to perform your role.  However, you may not necessarily have access to information that is outside your role or responsibilities.  And finally, accessing or using student information for other than legitimate educational purposes is strictly prohibited.