FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) enacted in 1974 is a set of regulations that applies to those institutions that receive funding from the U. S. Department of Education. FERPA was written specifically for students and guarantees them the right to inspect and review their education records, the right to seek to amend education records, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from those education records.

Education record – records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student, maintained by an educational institution.

Student Rights Under FERPA

The student has a right to inspect and review any departmental or university records you maintain except for ‘sole possession records.’ A sole possession record is maintained solely by you and never shared with anyone else. Sole possession records are not subject to FERPA.

UWG Employees may not release non-directory or personally identifiable information (PII) or records about a student to a third party (including parents) without the student’s authorization. (For additional instruction, see accordion sections below)

You must first confirm if the student has opted out and has a FERPA Non-Disclosure Form on file. To confirm, email Student Solutions at studentsolutions@westga.edu from your UWG email.

When in doubt, DO NOT give it out!

If a student has opted out and blocked the release of directory information, no information shall be released about that student. The recommended response is, “I have no information about that individual.

No information is to be released until confirmation is received.

Upon confirmation that a student has not opted out, the following information may be released.

"Directory information" is information contained in the student record that generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy. UWG defines directory information as:

  • Student's name
  • Address - permanent and campus mailing address
  • Telephone Listing - permanent
  • Major Field of Study
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Previous Institutions Attended
  • Enrollment Status - full/part-time
  • Classification - grade level
  • Degrees and Awards Received
  • Participation in Officially Recognized Activities and Sports
  • Weight and Height Athletic Team members
  • Photograph

UWG Employees may view authorized access via The UWG Family Portal by following the instructions below:

  • Click “Are you faculty or a student? Log in here
  • Log in using your UWG credentials
  • In the top right of the page, click the person iconperson and
    select the admin option
  • Type the student’s first name, last name, student id, or email address in the search box. DO NOT PRESS ENTER.
  • Click on the email address (in blue) to view what FERPA access is granted and to whom. 
  • If the status is “APPROVED,” conversations may take place regarding those specific sections

FERPA Request

If the status shows “NOT APPROVED” or “REQUESTED,” conversations may not occur. The recommended response is, “Our records indicate FERPA access is not granted; please contact your student.

Not approved

If the status shows “No Active connections,” you must confirm with Student Solutions if the student has a FERPA Consent to Release Educational Records Form on file. Email studentsolutions@westga.edu from your UWG email.

No Active Connections

If the Confidentiality box is checked, the recommended response is, “UWG has no record of this individual.


Public posting of grades is a violation of FERPA. Grades must not be posted on websites, in hallways, or in departmental offices.

It is prohibited to allow students to leave or pick up papers, tests, etc., in areas (i.e., hallways, mailbox, boxes) accessible by anyone without legitimate educational interest or is not constantly supervised by a University Official or teaching assistant.

Notification of grades via e-mail is a violation of FERPA. There is no guarantee of confidentiality on the Internet. The institution would be held responsible if an unauthorized third party gained access, in any manner, to a student’s education record through any electronic transmission method.

FERPA considers Teaching Assistants to be an extension of the faculty member. Faculty members may share their sole-possession records with their TAs. However, if other faculty and department members can inspect those notes, they are no longer in sole possession and become education records. Students have the right to inspect and review those records.

Employment Records are not education records unless the employment is conditional upon being a student. Since you have to be a student to be an SA, GA, GTA, or GRA, employment records are education records.

  • Student course schedules may endanger the student's safety if shared with a third party other than a University Official with a legitimate educational interest.
  • Storing educational records on devices such as flash drives, laptops, external drives, etc., is prohibited without encryption or password protection.
  • PII or Confidential Information should not be sent, received, or forwarded using e-mail. 
  • Letters for Recommendation for a student do not mention grades unless you have the student’s permission. General observations about the student's attendance or qualifications are acceptable.
  • Follow the Records Retention Schedules and only retain the student records necessary to fulfill job duties.
  • You may share with University Officials your personal observations of the student's behavior or habits to assist in identifying barriers to learning. The exchange of messages that concern the student's educational records with University Officials without a legitimate educational interest is discouraged.
  • Forward all judicial orders, subpoenas, or other written requests for records to openrecords@westga.edu.
  • In case of an emergency, direct requests for student information to the University Police (678) 839-6000 or Office of Legal Affairs legal@westga.edu.

Report any incident or potential data breach immediately.

Immediately report unforeseen events and potential or confirmed data breaches (“incidents”) involving personally identifiable information (PII) to the ITS helpdesk at (678) 839-6587 or by emailing servicedesk@westga.edu. The report will be triaged and routed to the correct department.


The University offers FERPA training to all employees. To access the FERPA module, go to DevelopWest and log in with your UWG ID and password to complete the module. This online module takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and provides recommendations for common FERPA-related issues.


If you have questions about FERPA, contact

Student Solutions
(Momentum Center)

PHONE: (678) 839-6140
EMAIL: studentsolutions@westga.edu


Additional web pages

FERPA for Parents/Guardians

FERPA for Students