Information for Students

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to:

  • Protect the privacy of education records,
  • Establish the rights of students to inspect and review their education records, and
  • Provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data within education records.
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The essence of FERPA:

  • College students must be permitted to inspect and review their own education records.
  • School officials may not disclose personally identifiable information about students nor permit inspection of their records without written permissions unless such action is covered by certain exceptions permitted by FERPA.
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UC and UCSB policy guiding principles

When law and policy are silent on student records, use and access are to be guided by two principles:

  • Privacy of an individual is of greater weight, and
  • The information in a student’s files should be disclosed to the student upon request within a reasonable time frame.


Student Rights

When a student becomes an eligible student the rights accorded to and consent required under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student.  Eligible student” means a student who has reached 18 years of age or  is attending/has attended an institution of postsecondary education (regardless of age).  All UCSB students are eligible students under FERPA.

Eligible students have the right to:

  • Inspect and review their UCSB education records (with some limitations);
    • A majority of a student's education record is available via UCSB web portals such as GOLD, myBARC, My Aid Status, GauchoSpace, and OrgSync.
    • Students may request to review records pertaining to themselves by contacting the office that is the custodian of the record to be inspected. Questions about which office to contact should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.
      • FERPA does not permit students to access:
        • Financial statements of parents/guardians;
        • Confidential statements and letters of recommendation to which the student has waived access rights, such as letters of recommendation for a grant;
        • Records containing information about another student, such as a course roster;
        • Personal records relating to a student (separate from academic records) that are kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and not accessible or revealed to any other individual.
  • Ask UCSB to amend their education record if it is believed that the education record contains information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights of privacy.
    • Students may request corrections of their education record by submitting a “Request for Clarification or Correction of Records” form to the Office of the Registrar. Students will be notified if their request is approved or denied. Denied requests will include information regarding the student's rights to a hearing. Corrections will be made within a reasonable period.
  • Refuse to let UCSB designate any or all types of information about them as directory information; and
  • File a complaint concerning alleged failures by UCSB to comply with the requirements of FERPA, UC, and UCSB policy.
    • Complaints regarding alleged violations of the rights accorded students by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) may be filed with:
      • The Office of the Vice Chancellor Student Affairs, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93016-2036, or with
      • The Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C 20203.



Directory Information and "Not for Release" Form

Eligible students have the right to refuse to let UCSB designate any or all types of information about them as directory information.  “Directory information” is information contained in a student record that, if disclosed, generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy.

UCSB directory information is:

  • Student name
  • Email address
  • Local telephone listing
  • Date of birth (month and day only)
  • Major field of study
  • Class Level
  • Degrees and honors awarded
  • Dates of attendance
  • Last school attended
  • Number of course units enrolled
  • Participation in officially recognized organizations
  • Name, weight, and height of participants in intercollegiate athletic teams
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All other information in a student record that is not listed as UCSB Directory Information is confidential student information and may not be release. Questions or requests related to non-directory information should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.



Students who wish to officially restrict the release of any or all directory information, must file the “Request to Restrict / Release Student Data” form with the Office of the Registrar. 

Requested data will be kept confidential until the student notifies UCSB to discontinue the restriction by filing a new “Request to Restrict / Release Student Data” form with the Office of the Registrar. 



Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

Annual Notice To Students

University of California, Santa Barbara



Annually, the University of California, Santa Barbara, informs students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, (FERPA) as amended. The Office of the Registrar will disclose FERPA information by publishing a notice in the UCSB General Catalog and on the appropriate web locations. This annual notice shall prescribe the procedures whereby a student may make a formal request for non-disclosure of directory information, exercise the right to inspect and review education records, request an amendment of education records, and file a complaint with the University.

Student Rights:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access:

    Students should submit to the Office of the Registrar a written request that identifies the education record(s) they wish to inspect. If the records are not maintained by the Office of the Registrar, the Registrar (or designee) shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. The appropriate University official will arrange for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading:

    Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

  3. 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:

    One exception which permits disclosure without prior consent of the student is disclosure to University officials with legitimate educational interest. A University official is a person employed by the University as a member of the faculty or staff, members of the Office of the President and UC Regents, or a person under contract to the University to perform a task such as a consultant, attorney or auditor. Student or community members of University committees are also included in the definition of University officials as are student employees assisting a University official in performing his or her tasks. Inter-institutional disclosure may be made between the University and entities that administer or participate in joint programs or activities and that further a legitimate educational interest because such disclosures are considered made to “University officials.” Directory Information at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is defined as information contained in an education record of a student that generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory Information will be made available to the general public unless the student notifies the Office of the Registrar in writing of the wish for privacy. Refer to the Non-Disclosure of Directory Information section of the General Catalog for more information.

  4. The right to file a complaint concerning alleged failures by the University of California, Santa Barbara, to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Complaints may be filed with:
  • The Office of the Vice Chancellor Student Affairs, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93016-2036, or with
  • The Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C 20203.



As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expanded the circumstances under which a student's education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records -- including Social Security Number, grades, or other private information -- may be accessed without the student's consent. Covered under this provision are:

  • The U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (Federal and State Authorities) who may allow access to education records and PII without consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education", such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administrated by an education agency or institution.
  • Federal and State Authorities may allow access to education records and PII without consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when the University objects to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and date security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities.
  • In connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without  consent PII from education records, and they may track a student's participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about the student that they obtain from other Federal and State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.