REG 07.55.05 – Student Financial Records

Authority: Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration

History: First Issued: September 17, 2001.

Additional References:
University Cashier’s Website

Contact Info: University Cashier’s Office Director (919-515-6010)


1. Purpose:

To provide guidelines for maintaining the privacy of student financial information under control of the Cashier’s Office.

2. General Guidelines:

2.1. It is the policy of the University Cashier’s Office that students be afforded the full legal rights provided them under FERPA.

2.2. UCO staff will treat student financial information with due care and will not release such information to third parties unless authorized to do so.

2.3. The primary authority controlling this subject is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 USC §1232g (as amended). This is also known as FERPA, or the Buckley Amendment. The provisions of FERPA are further defined by UNC Policy in the Administrative Policy Manual, Chapter XII, Section J, and the NC State Administrative and Academic Regulations.

2.4. NC State Office of General Counsel has determined that student financial records maintained by the UCO constitute student educational records as defined by the Act, and are therefore subject to the provisions of the Act.

3. Disclosure of Student Financial Information

3.1. According to the regulations found in FERPA, the College will disclose personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records only with the written consent of the student.

3.2. Consistent with regulations found in FERPA, a student’s educational record may be disclosed, even in the absence of the student’s express written consent, to College officials with legitimate educational interests: parents of students who are “dependent” as defined by the Internal Revenue Code; to court or law enforcement officials in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; to accrediting organizations; to appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency; to officials conducting studies for the College or for federal, state, and local educational authorities who audit or regulate educational programs; to officials of another institution in which a student seeks to enroll; and to College officials including faculty, administrators, staff, trustees, members of the College’s judicial bodies, including students, who have “legitimate educational interests” in the educational record.

3.3. A College official has a legitimate educational interest if such official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Specifically a legitimate educational interest exists where a College official is: performing a task specified in his or her position at the College; performing a task related to the student’s education; performing a task related to the discipline of a student; performing a service or benefit relating to the student or the student’s family; or the official is maintaining the safety and security of the campus.

3.4. Additionally, the College may disclose without a student’s consent certain “directory information” such as student’s name, photograph, parent’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and/or awards received, participation in officially recognized activities, height and weight of members of athletic teams, and most recent educational institution attended.

3.5. A student who objects to the disclosure of “directory information” must provide annual written notice to the Registrar within three weeks of the first day of Fall semester classes not to disclose any or all of the categories of directory information related to that student.

4. Consent to Release Records

4.1. UCO Staff will disclose personally identifiable student financial information only to the student, those who the student has authorized to access the information, university officials with legitimate educational interest, or other parties as specifically provided by the Act.

4.2. The student must consent to disclosure in writing, by completing the form at Attachment A. Once made, this consent will remain in effect until revoked by the student.

5. Safeguarding Student Financial Information

5.1. UCO staff will use reasonable care to insure that information is released only in accordance with the student’s expressed consent.

5.2. General information regarding charges, fees, university policies and similar information may be released without consent.

5.3. Information that is specific to an individual student, such a student’s specific charges, class selections, account balance, financial aid received, payments made, refunds processed and similar details will only be released pursuant to the student’s written consent.

5.4. If a student has consented to release of financial information to certain parties, UCO staff will use reasonable means to ascertain the identity of those inquiring.

5.5. Telephone inquiries may be responded to if the party furnishes information that reasonably identifies them (e.g. if they have specific information already furnished by the student such as a copy of the student bill; specific questions about a particular charge or payment; can identify the students ID number or social security number, etc).

5.6. Individuals inquiring in person must present appropriate identification.

5.7. Inquiries made by accessing the student account information on the web are deemed to have been authorized by the student since a personal access code is required.

6. Questions

6.1. Questions concerning specific provisions of this Rule may be addressed to the Director, UCO.

6.2. Questions or comments regarding interpretation of FERPA may be addressed to the Director of the UCO. If additional clarification is needed, the NC State Office of General Counsel may be consulted.

6.3. Complaints alleging violations of the provisions of FERPA may be addressed to the Director of the UCO for resolution. In addition, the student has the right to submit a written complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education.