FERPA/Student Records

Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)

When your students were in elementary and high school, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gave you and your students specific rights to access and control their educational records. Now that your students are in college, these same laws transfer ownership of the records directly to your students.

According to FERPA, college students are considered responsible adults and are allowed to determine who will receive information about them. While family members understandably have a vested interest in students’ academic progress, they are not automatically granted access to their student’s records without written consent.
In our experience, open and honest communication about academic standing and grades is the best way to help students succeed. Begin discussions with your students now about your expectations and how you would like to see their progress reported to you.

Student FERPA Consent

There are two options for students who want to provide third parties (parents, organizations, employers, etc.) with access to their FERPA-protected records.

  1. Designate Access in PAWS.  Designate access allows a student to issue unique PAWS login credentials to a third party that can be used to view To-Do Lists, Grades, and Financial Information, including making bill payments.  Students control the login credentials directly in PAWS.
  2. Student Consent Release.  Student consent release is designed to allow students to authorize a third party to receive academic, financial, financial aid, housing, or disciplinary records. Students are able to initiate, manage, and expire their consents directly through PAWS, although a universal paper form also exists, primarily for former students who no longer can access PAWS. Additional information on third-party access to student records can be found on the One Stop website.  New students will begin receiving information about the FERPA consent functionality in PAWS at upcoming orientations this summer.

How are grades reported?

At UWM, grades are reported electronically directly to students via their PAWS account. Typically, students will see grades and academic standing reported on PAWS within two weeks of final exams ending.

Registrar’s Office • Mellencamp 274  • (414) 229-3800 • registrar.uwm.edu

Student Directory Information and Public Records

As a public university, UWM is subject to Wisconsin public records law. Unless a student opts out, UWM is required to provide access to information designated as student directory data upon request to third parties. For more detailed information about how to restrict access to student directory data via PAWS or place a complete block on student records, please see the One-Stop website. UWM’s Office of Public Records can also provide more information.

For more information:
Office of Public Records – Chapman Hall 180B | public-records@uwm.edu | (414) 229-2849