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 their UAConnect account by completing a Third Party Release. Information to assist your student in setting up Third Party Release is available at  here. FERPA access does not grant access to the UAConnect Parent Center. After the Third Party Release is completed, your student can assign a parent or other third party to make payments on UAConnect. Your student will need to follow these instructions to assign an authorized user access to make payments on UAConnect. Once your student has authorized your access to their information, an invitation will be sent to the newly authorized user to the email address entered by your student to begin your initial setup in the Parent Center. Click here for instructions on the initial set up process for the Parent Center. 

To access the Parent Center within UAConnect, visit uaconnect.uark.edu and log in using the authorized e-mail address and temporary password assigned. For more information about the Third Party Release, Authorization User Access to Make Payments or Parent Center Setup 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.