Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (a part of the Educational Amendments of 1974, P.L. 93-380) became effective November 19, 1974. A number of amendments were signed into law on December 31, 1974 and draft guidelines were issued by HEW on January 6, 1975. THE ACT PROVIDES THAT FEDERAL FUNDING WILL BE WITHHELD FROM ANY HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION WHICH DENIES A STUDENT THE RIGHT TO INSPECT AND CHALLENGE THE CONTENT OF THE STUDENT’S CUMULATIVE RECORD. IN ADDITION, THE ACT IMPOSES SUBSTANTIAL RESTRICTIONS UPON ACCESS BY OTHERS TO A STUDENT’S RECORD WITHOUT THE STUDENT’S WRITTEN CONSENT.


  1. Responsibility for ImplementationExcept as otherwise provided in these Revised Guidelines and Regulations, the responsibility for implementation of the Act is assigned to the Chancellor. Among these responsibilities are:
    1. publication of parents’ and students’ rights and procedures under the Act;
    2. publication of the types of records kept and the names of the persons in charge;
    3. notification to students of directory information categories which may be released without the student’s consent in each individual instance;
    4. notification of a reasonable period of time during which students may indicate that any or all items of directory information should not be released without the student’s prior consent. The Chancellor shall designate persons to perform these necessary functions.

    On November 13, 1974, the Board of Trustees authorized the President of the University to promulgate guidelines and regulations for discharge of the University of Illinois’ obligation under the Act and to identify the responsibility for its implementation. These Revised Guidelines and Regulations are issued pursuant to that authorization and they replace the Campus Interim Guidelines and Regulations… issued November 18, 1974, the In Between an Interim and Revised Interim Announcement… issued January 31, 1975, and the Interim Guidelines and Regulations… issued October 29, 1975. THEY MAY BE AMENDED OR SUPPLEMENTED FROM TIME TO TIME IN THE LIGHT OF ANY FURTHER AMENDMENTS TO THE ACT, FINAL REGULATIONS THEREUNDER, AND AUTHORITATIVE INTERPRETATIONS.

  2. Definition of StudentFor the purposes of the Act “student” is defined as a person who is or has been in attendance at the University of Illinois, and for whom the University maintains education records or personally identifiable information. The definition includes on-campus, extramural, and correspondence students.
  3. Definition of Student Education Record
    1. Under the Act, each student has the right to inspect his/her education records. Education records are those records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to the student and are maintained by the University or by a person acting for the University.
    2. The records of the law enforcement unit of the University are not educational records and thus not subject to the provisions of the Act.
    3. So-called working notes are not regarded as the student’s educational record unless such notes are recorded for others to view.
    4. Furthermore, under the Act, students do not have access to the following:
      1. parent’s financial records;
      2. medical, psychiatric or similar records created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional acting in such capacity and in connection with the treatment of the student; provided, however, that such records can be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student’s choice;
      3. confidential letters and statements of recommendation, which were placed in the education records prior to January 1, 1975, if such letters or statements are not used for purposes other than those for which they were specifically intended.
  4. Definition of Directory Information
    1. For currently enrolled students directory information includes the student’s name; addresses; telephone numbers; college, curriculum and major field of study; class level; date of birth; dates of attendance; eligibility for membership in registered University honoraries; degrees; honors; certificates received or anticipated; weight and height if she/ he is an athletic team member; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; and, institutions previously attended.
    2. For former students, directory information may include the student’s name; date of birth; last known addresses and telephone numbers; college; curriculum and major field of study; dates of attendance; class level; honors; certificates or degrees earned at the University and the date(s) conferred; weight and height if she/he was an athletic team member; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; and, institutions previously attended.
  5. Access to Student Records
    1. StudentsA student’s record shall be made accessible to the student requesting access to her/his record within a reasonable time, but in no case more than 45 days after the request for access has been made. (See Chapters VI, VII, and VIII of this document.)
    2. Parents (including legal guardians)Copies of student records will not be provided to parents without the student’s prior written consent; however, parents of a dependent student, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, may be granted access to the student’s record without such consent under the following procedures:
      1. Any parent who in writing states that he or she is the parent of a student who was claimed as an exemption at the time of the filing of the last federal income tax statement may be sent a copy of the offspring’s transcript upon payment of the regular fee
      2. Any parent who in writing states that he or she is the parent of a dependent student (as defined in 1 above) may be given the same access to other records pertaining to the offspring as that available to the student.
    3. Others
      1. A student’s record may be released to others with the prior written consent of the student, specifying the records to be released, the reasons for such release, and to whom, with a copy of the records to be released to the student, if desired. In addition, a student’s record may be released in compliance with judicial order, or pursuant to any lawfully issued subpoena, provided the student is notified of all such orders or subpoenas in advance of compliance therewith.
      2. Otherwise, personally identifiable records of students may be released without the student’s consent only:
        1. to other University officials, including faculty “who have legitimate educational interests”;
        2. to officials of other schools or school systems in which the student intends to enroll, upon condition that the student is notified of the transfer, receives a copy of the record if desired, and has an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the record;
        3. to those representatives of the Federal Government and the State who are identified in the Act, provided that any data so released is not to include information (including social security numbers) which would permit the personal identification of the students unless otherwise specifically provided by Federal law;
        4. in connection with the student’s application for, or receipt of, financial aid;
        5. to state and local officials or authorities to which such information is specifically required to be reported or disclosed pursuant to State statute adopted prior to November 19, 1974;
        6. to organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction, if such studies are conducted in such a manner as will not permit the personal identification of students and their parents by persons other than representatives of such organizations and such information will be destroyed when no longer required for the purpose for which it is conducted;
        7. to accrediting organizations in order to carry out their accrediting functions;
        8. by the Dean of Students or the Emergency Dean on duty, designated to act in an emergency to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons;
        9. to the alleged victim of a crime of violence as defined in the U. S. Code, the results of any disciplinary proceedings conducted by the university against the alleged perpetrator;
        10. to law enforcement officers employed by the university to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons;
        11. disciplinary actions against the student may be released without prior consent to officials of other schools who have a legitimate educational interest in the behavior of the student.
      3. Records may be released, with or without the student’s consent, to a third party only on the condition that the recipient will not permit others to have access to the personal information without the written consent of the student. With the exception of institutional officials described under C2(a) above, persons desiring access to a student’s record must sign a written form, available for inspection by the student and the official responsible for the record maintenance, indicating specifically thereon the legitimate educational or other interest for which the information is sought.
      4. Custodians of records and other record maintenance personnel shall have access to student records while performing the record-keeping function, without the necessity of executing access forms.
  6. Regulations for Record Custodians
    1. A student’s request to see her/his record must be granted within a reasonable period of time, but in no case more than 45 days after the request for access has been made.
      1. Students do not have access to financial records of parents.
      2. Students do not have access to medical or psychiatric records. (Chapter III. C. 3)
    2. Confidential letters of recommendation received prior to January 1, 1975 are not subject to student access if used only for the purpose for which they were specifically intended.
    3. Students or persons applying for admission may be permitted to sign a waiver of their right of access to confidential letters of recommendation received on or after January 1, 1975 respecting admission, application for employment, or receipt of an honor or honorary recognition. Waivers cannot be required as a condition for admission, financial aid, or any other services or benefits from the University. A student supplying such a waiver will, upon request, be notified of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations.
    4. Requests by the University for letters of recommendation will not be solicited with University assurance of confidentiality and will include notice that confidentiality cannot be assured by the University, in view of the provisions of the Act.
    5. Letters of recommendation submitted without University assurance of confidentiality will be considered a part of the student’s record, and subject to student access as required by the Act.
    6. Before the sixth day of instruction for a specific term, a currently enrolled student has the right to request that directory information be kept confidential. Such requests are in force until the student requests the information no longer be restricted.
    7. Students have the right to a reproduction of their records. A charge not to exceed $1.00 per page may be made for this service. For retrieval of reproduction of computerized records, full administrative data processing costs may be charged. Offices that charge the students are to keep in mind the regulations in Chapter 10 of the Business and Financial Policies and Procedures Manual on “Sales and Cash Collections.”
    8. A written record of access requests that have been processed must be maintained.
    9. Every effort should be made to verify or correct any information that the student believes is misleading, inaccurate, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights. If a dispute cannot be settled by the custodian, the student may request the appropriate dean, director, or her/his designee to resolve the matter. If the conflict cannot be resolved at that level, the student may request a hearing before a panel appointed by the Chancellor.
  7. Classification, Location, and Custodians of Student Records
    1. Records available to students fall within the following three classifications:
      1. Biographic Data–include but not limited to
        1. Name and addresses of student
        2. Student’s I.D.
        3. Name and address of parent(s) or guardian(s)
      2. Application Data–include but not limited to
        1. High school transcript
        2. Class rank and test scores
        3. Transfer courses and grades
        4. Solicited and unsolicited correspondence
        5. Summary of interviews and/or auditions
      3. Matriculation Data–include but not limited to
        1. New student test results
        2. Cumulative record of courses
        3. Grades and other evaluations
        4. Proficiency, probation, and other related information
        5. Summary of conferences
        6. Fellowship and assistantship appointment records
        7. Irregular attendance reports
        8. Honors received
        9. Disciplinary records including sanctions, if any
    2. Student records and record custodians are located as follows:
      1. Admissions & Records, Office of, Director; 9101 W. Illinois St, Urbana
      2. Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, College of, Associate Dean; 104 Mumford Hall
      3. Applied Life Studies, College of, Associate Dean; 107 Huff Gym
      4. Aviation, Institute of, Chief, Maintenance Training; Airport
      5. Medicine, College of, Assistant Dean; Medical Science Building
      6. Administrative Information Technology Services, Assistant Director; Office of 50 Gerty Drive
      7. Commerce & Business Administration, College of, Associate Dean; 214 David Kinley Hall
      8. Communications, College of, Associate Dean; 119 Gregory Hall
      9. Continuing Education, Office of, Associate Director; 901 W. University Ave, Urbana
      10. Dean of Students:
        1. Career Services Center Director; 310 Fred H. Turner Student Services Building
        2. International Student Affairs Director; 510 E. Daniel
        3. McKinley Health Center Director; 195 McKinley Health Service
        4. Health Careers House Associate Director; 901 W. Illinois Street, Urbana
        5. Counseling Center Director; 213 Fred H. Turner Student Services Building
        6. Student Financial Aids, Director; Office of 620 E. John St., Student Services Arcade Bldg.
        7. Student Services Dean; 300 Fred H. Turner Student Services Building
      11. Education, College of
        1. Undergraduate Counseling 140 Education Building & Student Records
        2. Coordinator of Graduate 120 Education Building Study
        3. Educational Placement, 17 Education Building Office of
      12. Engineering, College of, Associate Dean; 207 Engineering Hall
      13. Fine & Applied Arts, College of, Associate Dean; 114 Architecture Building
      14. Graduate College, Assistant Dean; 202 Coble Hall
      15. Instructional Resources, Director; Office of Measurement & Research 249 Armory Building
      16. Labor & Industrial Relations, Institute of, Assistant to the Director; 205 Labor & Industrial Relations Building
      17. Law, College of, Registrar; 207 Law Building
      18. Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of, Associate Dean; 270 Lincoln HallWhen appropriate, college offices may refer students to departmental offices.
      19. Library and Information Science, Graduate School of; 410 David Kinley Hall
      20. Military Education Council
        1. Air Force Aerospace Commandant Studies; Department of 230 Armory Building
        2. Military Science, Commandant; Department of 107 Armory Building
        3. Naval Science, Commandant; Department of 236 Armory Building
      21. Social Work, School of, Assistant Director; 1207 W. Oregon
      22. Student Conflict Resolution, Office for, Director; 314 Fred H. Turner Student Services Building
      23. Veterinary Medicine, College of, Associate Dean; 2271g Veterinary Medicine Basic Sciences Building
  8. Procedures for Students
    1. Gaining access to the record:
      1. Go to designated office for help in locating record(s)
      2. Make written request to the custodian(s) of the record(s).
      3. Examine records.
    2. Challenging the contents:
      1. If a student’s challenge cannot be satisfied by the record custodian, the student may go to the following, or his/her designee:
        1. Law students, Dean of the College of Law
        2. Veterinary Medicine students, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine
        3. Medical students, Dean of the College of Medicine
        4. Graduate students, Dean of the Graduate College
        5. Undergraduate students, Dean of Student Services.
      2. If no resolution can be effected, the matter will be referred to the Chancellor’s hearing panel.
  9. The Hearing
    1. General principles:
      1. Request for a hearing must be specific to a record, be submitted in writing, and include an explanation or justification of the request for a hearing.
      2. Once a hearing has been held in accordance with some other
        University activity by a duly constituted board or committee, no
        additional hearing on the content of a record will be allowed. The
        existing hearing processes (capricious grading, student disciplines)
        already provide for an opportunity to add, correct, or otherwise modify
        that record.
      3. After consultation with appropriate student and faculty groups,
        the Chancellor will appoint a hearing panel.
      4. Decisions reached by the hearing panel will be final; there is no
        further appeal within the University.
    2. Guidelines for hearing panel. Hearing panels shall operate in accordance with the following guidelines:
      1. Hearings will not be open to the public.
      2. Neither party, nor representatives thereof, shall serve on the panel.
      3. Decisions of the hearing panel will be by majority vote.
      4. Results of the hearing will be communicated in writing to the student and the custodian.
  10. Notification of Parents and Students
    Notification of parents and students regarding these guidelines and regulations will be through those campus media most likely to reach the greatest numbers. Among them will be the following:

    • Postmarks
    • Daily Illini
    • Inside Illinois
    • Illinois Quarterly
    • Code on Campus Affairs and Regulations Applying to All Students
  11. Disposal of Inactive Records
    With the exception of placement office files, the permanent ledger file, and ADP machine processible records useful for research purposes, all student records shall be reviewed within five years of the last academic term in which they were considered active files. At the time of this review, files should be cleared of all correspondence, interview notations and other items of short term significance. All records other than placement files and the permanent ledger file should be destroyed* on or before the 10th anniversary of their withdrawal from active status.
  12. Provisions of State Law
    Nothing in these Guidelines and Regulations shall be construed as authorizing or directing a violation of State law or as limiting individual privileges afforded by State law.

Further questions concerning this policy statement should be directed to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, (217) 333-1300.

*Destroyed subject to approval and procedures of the University Archivist (see Destruction or Transfer of University Records in the Campus Administrative Manual) or Federal and State laws. In any case, records will be inaccessible for normal use.