The Department of Housing and Residence Life and The University of North Carolina at Charlotte are committed to ensuring the privacy and safety of your student's financial, academic, and personal information. Ensuring this, however, is a team effort, involving our staff, your student, and you. To help you understand what we can (and cannot) tell you (and why), please read the following important information.
What is FERPA? The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. This law applies to UNC Charlotte and its departments and operating units, including the Department of Housing and Residence Life. Under FERPA, information that is classified as "directory information" (such as a student's name, address, telephone number, honors and awards, or the dates of attendance), can be released to the public (including parents) upon request. A student, however, may file a full record privacy request with the Office of the Registrar which would prevent even the release of directory information.
FERPA's protections prohibit UNC Charlotte from disclosing non-directory information about a student who is 18 years of age (or older) to anyone other than the student, without written permission from that student to do so. This includes information about applications, contracts, and financial transactions (charges, credits, refunds, etc.). This information can only be provided to the student.
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What is HIPAA? The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. § 1320d-2; 42 CFR Part 403.812) ("HIPAA") is a Federal law that provides protections for health care and health related information of U.S. citizens. This law applies to UNC Charlotte and its departments and operating units, including the Department of Housing and Residence Life. Under HIPAA, medical information and health records related to students must be stored and secured in compliance with Federal regulations. HIPAA prevents UNC Charlotte from releasing this type of information unless specifically authorized, in writing, by the health care recipient (e.g. a student).
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What is E-Sign? The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act ("E-Sign") (15 U.S.C. § 7001), governs the use of electronic "signatures" on contracts and other commerce related instruments. This Federal law applies to UNC Charlotte, its departments and operating units, including the Department of Housing and Residence Life. Under the provisions of E-Sign, students (over the age of 18) may digitally sign their Contract for Residential Services with the Department of Housing and Residence Life. The digital signature is applied when a student logs into the Online Housing Application System and completes and submits an Application for Housing. E-Sign provides specific remedies and rights for consumers (students).
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The University of North Carolina at Charlotte maintains specific policies on privacy and student records. Links to these have been provided below and we encourage parents and their students to review them periodically to become familiar with their provisions and your responsibilities. As these policies may change from time to time, students and parents should check them each semester.