Academic Catalog

Student Records

Confidentiality of Student Records

All student records maintained by University academic and administrative offices are confidential. Only such information that is necessary for appropriate business and academic procedures is maintained in the official student record. University officials may access student records for the purpose of conducting student business.

Education Records

Educational records are those records directly related to a student and maintained by the institution or by a party acting for the institution.

The permanent academic record, which is maintained by the Registrar, contains all completed course work, grades, grade-point average, and notes on the student’s academic status. The student’s application file, which contains the student’s application and accompanying transcripts, is maintained for five years following the student’s last date of enrollment.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Online learning creates a record of student activity; therefore, it is subject to FERPA privacy rights unlike verbal exchanges in a physical classroom. Distance education courses are covered by to FERPA in the same manner as any other courses.

Students have the right to inspect and review education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students do not have the right to copies of those records. Students should submit to the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar or appropriate University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Registrar, the Registrar shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

Students have the right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. They should write 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, 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.

Students have 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 consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

The University will not permit access to, or the release of, educational records without the consent of the student or eligible parent or legal guardian to anyone other than the following:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Directory Information

The University may release “Directory Information” as defined by the University under the authority of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), unless the student informs the University’s Office of the Registrar that all or part of such information should not be released without the student’s prior consent.

Directory Information includes a student’s addresses (home, mailing, email), telephone numbers, class level, previous institution(s) attended, major fields of study, awards, honors (including Dean’s List and President’s List), degree(s) conferred (including dates), dates of attendance, past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, and physical factors (e.g., height and weight of athletes). A request to withhold Directory Information must be received in writing on an annual basis by the Office of the Registrar. A form is available for this purpose from the Office of the Registrar. If this form is not received in the Office of the Registrar by May 1 preceding the academic year, selected Directory Information will appear in the University’s telephone directory due to press deadlines. Note that “name” is not considered Directory Information and will appear in the telephone directory, along with the designation “Unlisted.”

In accordance with Code of Virginia §23.1-405(C), UMW will not disclose the address, telephone number, or email address of a student pursuant to 34 C.F.R. §99.31(a)(11) or the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§2.2-3700 et seq.) unless the student has affirmatively consented in writing to such disclosure."

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) records, as well as medical records, are not included in the category of information open to inspection; however, such records may be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student’s choice.

Confidential records maintained by the director of disability services are open to inspection with limitations. Students may request a copy of disability documentation that is generated by the office, but may not request access to the director’s personal notes, to test protocols, or to information released by private practitioners or by other agencies. Disclosure related to the student’s disability is released neither to any faculty member nor to another University office without the student’s permission. With the student’s written permission, disability documentation generated by the Office of Disability Resources may be released to any specified persons and agencies.

Custodians of educational records are not required to give access to financial records of parents or any information contained therein, nor are they required to give access to confidential letters and statements of recommendation that were placed in the educational records prior to January 1, 1975, or to which the student has waived the right of access.

Directory Information may not be provided to any individual, company or entity for commercial purposes unless the release of this information is specifically authorized by the student or approved in writing by the Office of the President.

Permanent Record

The permanent record consists of the documents that are maintained for each student that must be kept in perpetuity either in hard copy or electronically. Examples include admission applications, any exception granted by the University, and records of disciplinary action. Letters of recommendation are excluded for undergraduate students but included in the records of graduate students. Students may view their permanent record, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, by contacting the Office of the Registrar.

Verification of Enrollment

Verification of enrollment for a specified time period can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar by submitting a written request authorizing the release of the verification.