Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of students’ educational records. Educational records include financial information, health information, academic or nonacademic misconduct matters, study abroad program and application information. This law prevents the UWM, including the CIE Study Abroad Office from releasing information considered confidential under this law without the student’s prior written consent.
Students may choose to complete a study abroad FERPA Release form (available to students once they are accepted to a study abroad program) which would allow UWM to release information to anyone of the student’s choice during or in connection with their study abroad. The form must be complete and signed before a Notary Public in order to be considered valid. Visit the Travel Services page for more information on notary services provided by CIE.
If a student wishes to release additional information through the Bursar’s Office, Department of Financial Aid, and/or Registrar’s Office, there is a separate FERPA release that can be completed and submitted. Other offices/departments on campus (i.e. Norris) may also require a separate release in order for them to release their specific records. Check with those departments directly for their requirements.
Wisconsin Power of Attorney
The Wisconsin Power of Attorney form grants another individual, your “agent”, the power to act and/or sign on your behalf in the management of your finances and property. This form does not authorize anyone to make medical or other health care decisions for you. A Power of Attorney form is likely most appropriate for participants on semester-long or academic-year-long programs, though it is certainly useful for anyone who may need someone to be able to assist with or handle business in the US including paying bills, banking, insurance, accounts, and taxes.
Students interested in appointing an agent will want to check with their bank, financial institution, and any other relevant agencies to ensure that they are aware an agent has been appointed. These institutions may have a separate Power of Attorney or release form that they will need on file, per their individual policies. UWM and the Center for International Education cannot guarantee that UWM’s form will satisfy the requirements of these other entities. In addition, students who are not residents of Wisconsin should complete their home state’s equivalent form in lieu of the Wisconsin Power of Attorney form (i.e. if the agent is likely to conduct business outside of the state of Wisconsin).
The form (available to students once they are accepted to a study abroad program) must be complete and signed before a Notary Public in order to be considered valid. Visit the Travel Services page for more information on notary services provided by CIE.