Understanding FERPA


As a University of Arkansas student, your son/daughter is covered by a set of laws that protects the privacy of their records. Many family members are surprised when they call the U of A and cannot gain access to information concerning their student’s records, such as paying a bill or checking grades, like family members could do during the student’s high school years. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), a federal law, states that a student must give written consent prior to the institution disclosing educational records. These records include personal information, grades, enrollment records, and class schedules.

The University of Arkansas does not release information regarding your student without their permission to ensure the protection of your student and family as a whole.

In order for the University to release information to you, your student must elect to give you access to the Parent/Family Center through his/her UAConnect account. Information to assist your student in setting up 3rd Party Access is available at  http://registrar.uark.edu/_resources/pdf/grantaccesstoparentcenter.pdf. Upon completing the Parent/Family Center Authorization in UAConnect, the new authorized user should receive an e-mail containing a temporary password. To access the Parent Center within UAConnect, visit https://uaconnect.uark.edu and log in using the authorized e-mail address and temporary password assigned. Information to assist you in setting up 3rd Party Parent/Family Authorization is available at  http://registrar.uark.edu/_resources/pdf/parent-center.pdf. Access to the Parent/Family Center does not give the University permission to discuss your student’s academic information with you. For discussions to occur, your student must complete and submit a Third Party Parental Release. For more information about the Third Party Parental Release, have your student contact the Registrar’s Office at (479) 575-5451 or via e-mail at regrweb@uark.edu.

FERPA, for many families, is a confusing issue especially when family members need information about their student for insurance purposes or enrollment verification. In situations like this, have a conversation with your student about their grades, class attendance, finances/tuition bills, and conduct. Having and maintaining open communication and a supportive environment will ease the tension for both you and your student. Often, your student will share openly, without the need of written consent, what is going on.