This web page explains why the University must release a student’s name, major field of study, dates of attendance, enrollment status, and degrees and awards (including scholarships) received upon request, even to commercial entities in most cases. It also explains steps students can take to prevent release of that information.
UNC Charlotte complies with a federal law called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). You can find out more about this law from the Schedule of Classes or the University Catalog or from the resources on the Office of Legal Affairs' FERPA website. "Directory Information" means information in a student's education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. At UNC Charlotte, directory information consists of the student's name, major field of study, dates of attendance, enrollment status, and degrees and awards (including scholarships) received.
Photographs, videos, or other media containing a student’s image or likeness (collectively, “student images”) and University-issued student electronic mail addresses (“email addresses”) are designated by UNC Charlotte as “limited use directory information.” Use and disclosure of limited use directory information will be restricted to: (1) publication in official University publications or on social media sites or websites hosted or maintained by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of the University, including the University’s online directory and internal email system; (2) University officials who have access, consistent with FERPA, to such information and only in conjunction with a legitimate educational interest; and (3) external parties contractually affiliated with the University, provided such affiliation requires the sharing of limited use directory information.
In addition, the following shall be considered Limited Use Directory Information that may be disclosed only to other students enrolled in the same course (regardless of whether such students are enrolled in the same class section or break-out group) that has been audio or video recorded by the University, for instructional and educational purposes only:
- name, to the extent it is referenced or captured during the audio or video recording;
- any photograph or image of the student captured during the audio or video recording;
- any audio or video recording of the student participating in the course; and
- any online chats or other recorded communications among participants in the course captured during the audio or video recording.
A student who requests to withhold this Limited Use Directory Information from disclosure pursuant to Section II.B.1 below may limit the extent to which they will be able to participate in the course.
To protect the privacy of other students, students are not permitted to make their own recordings of class sessions or to share or distribute University recordings of class sessions.
FERPA permits the University to release your “Directory Information” unless you have completed a form in the Registrar’s Office directing the University not to do so. If you have not completed this form, then another law, the North Carolina Public Records Law, requires that we treat the directory information as a “public record,” which must be released to “any person” on request.
You can complete the form requesting that the University not release your directory information and submit it to the Registrar’s Office at any time that you wish to prevent future disclosure of your directory information outside the University without your consent. To prevent your directory information from being published in future editions of the “Campus Directory,” your completed form must be received in the Registrar’s Office by the end of the second week of classes in the Fall term. You can download the form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office, or stop by the Registrar’s Office for assistance in completing it.
UNC Charlotte accepts no liability for honoring your instructions that your directory information be withheld. There are some cautions on the form about negative effects that may result from blocking access to your directory information. You should consider those cautions before you decide to submit the form.
Your request not to release your directory information lasts indefinitely, and you must submit a written release to the University to allow disclosure of your directory information. The University will not contact you for subsequent permission to release your directory information.
Please feel free to contact the Registrar’s Office and ask to speak to the Student Services Supervisor if you have further questions about FERPA.
Updated October 6, 2020