FERPA (Privacy Disclosure)

Official University Notice: Policy Governing Disclosure of Information from Student Records

Under the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and provisions of state law relating to public records disclosure, the University of California Policies Applying to the Disclosure of Information from Student Records and the Berkeley Campus' implementation of that policy assure Berkeley students the following rights:

  1. To inspect and review their student records.
  2. To have withheld from public disclosure, absent their prior consent, personally identifiable information from their student records.
  3. To inspect records maintained by campus offices concerning disclosure of confidential information from their student records.
  4. To seek corrections of their records through a request to amend the records, or a request for a hearing to challenge the content of their records, or to include a written statement therein.
  5. To file complaints with the Office of the Chancellor or with the U.S. Department of Education regarding violations of the rights accorded by federal law or University policy.

Campus policy defines "public records" which may be released without prior student consent, describes the record access rights of applicants who have not been admitted or enrolled at the Berkeley campus, and describes the conditions under which students may waive the right of access to their records. 

You also may find information at:

The campus maintains various types of student records in various locations throughout the campus. Each campus unit which maintains student records has available written procedures indicating the types of student records maintained, the officials responsible for their maintenance, the procedures for granting access to records, the procedures for reviewing and correcting and/or challenging the content of records, the cost (if any) which will be charged for copies, the categories of information made available as public information, and the manner in which students may request that information about them not be released as public information. Information about these records and university and campus policies on student records may be requested from the Office of the Registrar

Privacy of Student Records (FERPA) Charts

Frequently Asked Questions: General

What are student records?

Records maintained by UC or another group acting for UC include, but are not limited to: transcripts (grades), electronic shared notes, exam papers, test scores, evaluations, financial aid records and loan collection records.

What aren't student records?

  • Admissions records
  • Alumni records
  • Personnel/Employment records*
  • Police records
  • Psychological Services/Medical records**
  • Personal records of instructional, supervisory, and administrative personnel and educational personnel which:
    • are not accessible or revealed to any other individual.
    • are kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record;

*If the employment (e.g., work study or GSI) is contingent on the person being a registered student, then the personnel/employment records pertaining to that position are consider student/educational records.

**Psychological Services/Medical records are not student/educational records so long as they are made and maintained by a medical professional, used only in connection with treatment of the student, AND disclosed only to individuals providing treatment. These records become student/educational records and governed by FERPA once they are used or shared for purposes other than treatment.

What are electronic shared notes?

UC Berkeley Shared Advising Notes

UC Berkeley has an integrated electronic student file system, which includes shared notes about students that are entered by personnel in advising and administrative roles. UC Berkeley is committed to the security of student information. Notes are a student record and not considered public information. All personnel who have access to the electronic student files and shared notes must complete a mandatory training on the Federal Family Education Rights and Policies Act of 1974 (FERPA) and other provisions of state law regarding public records disclosure. 

ASUC Senate Resolution 2017-18: “In Support of Informed Consent, Consistency and Transparency in CalCentral Note Sharing.”

Guidance for advisors on the content of shared advising notes at UCB is available via Berkeley Advising Matters.

What can be disclosed to the student?

Almost every part of his or her own student record including, but not limited to: transcripts (grades), shared notes, exam papers, test scores, evaluations, financial aid records and loan collection records.

Are students prohibited from accessing certain details of their own student records?

Yes. Students are not allowed access to:

    • Financial statements of parents/guardians
    • Confidential statements to which the student has waived access rights
    • Records containing information about another student

What student records can be disclosed to parents, spouses, and others?

Student records information falls into two general categories:

  • Public information, to which parents have access, and
  • Confidential information, which may be disclosed to parents, spouses and others only if the student signs an appropriate written authorization or if a specific exception applies (as defined by FERPA).

What information is considered to be public information at UC Berkeley?

Directory (public) information may be obtained without prior authorization. Each department, school, college, office, program, or entity which maintains records is required to give public notice of the categories of information designated as directory information. These units are not required to include all of the following, but may not designate as directory information anything more than:

  • student's name
  • email addresses
  • telephone numbers
  • date and place of birth
  • dates of attendance
  • class level (e.g. freshman, sophomore)
  • number of units in which enrolled
  • major field of study
  • last school attended
  • degrees and honors received
  • participation in official student activities
  • name, weight, and height of intercollegiate athletic team members

What information is considered to be confidential information at UC Berkeley?

Everything that is not included in the list of "directory information" is considered confidential.

Policies also permit students to have the University treat directory information as confidential, so third parties' access to the above information may be limited if a student so requests.

How do I order a paper copy of your FERPA policies?

You may obtain paper copies by mailing your request to the Registrar's Office.

Frequently Asked Questions: Parents and Spouses

When does my son/daughter/spouse officially become a student?

Once an admitted applicant submits a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) to the University, s/he is considered a student whose records are subject to privacy protections governed by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Berkeley campus' policies implementing these regulations. Prior to submitting the SIR, a student's records are subject to different privacy protections under the Information Privacy Act.

My son/daughter is a minor and I pay all of his/her bills. Does this give me a right to access the student records of my child?

No. The University considers your son/daughter as an adult, regardless of age or financial dependence.

Which student records can a parent or spouse obtain without prior authorization?

Public information may be obtained by a parent or spouse without prior authorization.

What constitutes an appropriate written authorization/waiver of confidentiality?

Your son, daughter or spouse must provide a signed letter to the campus office which maintains the sought-after record, expressly permitting your review of his or her student record and specifying the length of time for which access is granted. Students may also authorize University personnel to discuss financial aid, registration and billing information under the "Grant Access" option at https://myfinaid.berkeley.edu. More information is available on Financial Aid & Scholarship site.

What if a parent or spouse needs access to a student's record as a result of a health or safety emergency?

Requests should be directed to the UC Police Department, 510-642-6760, with a description of the nature of the emergency need to contact the student. At the discretion of the police and the Office of the Registrar, disclosure of a limited amount of information may be made to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency when the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other persons.