Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) helps protect the privacy of student records. It provides students the right to inspect and review their educational records, the right to seek to amend those records, and the right to limit the disclosure of information in the records. In complying with the act, Northern Michigan University will not release educational information about a student without the student’s written permission. For a more complete explanation of the provisions of the law, see the NMU Student Handbook, found on the Dean of Students web site (

FERPA allows the university to identify directory information, which it considers public record, and will release it without student authorization. At NMU this includes the following:

  • name
  • local address, local telephone, permanent address, permanent telephone
  • NMU e-mail address
  • dates of attendance at the university, enrollment status, degrees earned, honors, awards, participation in officially recognized university activities and sports, current term candidacy for degrees and/or teaching certification
  • program level, class standing, major/minor

Students have the right to restrict the release of all of their directory information. This is done by completing a form available from the Student Service Center. Restrictions can be applied to a student record any time during the semester. However, to prevent information from appearing in the university telephone directory, the request must be made within 18 calendar days of the beginning of the fall semester.

Students should carefully consider the consequences of restricting information. Generally requests for information come from potential employers seeking verification of enrollment or degrees. A request of confidentiality will prevent the university from providing any information regarding a student.