Friday, July 26, 2013

Knowing Your Privacy Rights: FERPA

Though many students do not know it, all UC San Diego students have certain privacy rights guaranteed to them by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 ("FERPA").

FERPA is a federal law designed to protect all students who attend institutions receiving federal funding, including UC San Diego. If UC San Diego is found to have violated FERPA it may be in jeopardy of losing its federal funds.

In a nutshell, FERPA obligates UC San Diego to ensure the privacy and accuracy of education records. This means UC San Diego must comply with student requests to view his or her education records, and it must give students the opportunity to request an amendment to education records he or she feels are inaccurate.

More importantly, FERPA greatly restricts access to students' education records by the general public. Here are some of the only people allowed to access a UC San Diego student's education records:
  1. The student;
  2. UC San Diego officials who have a "legitimate educational interest";
  3. Other schools to which a student may be transferring;
  4. Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  5. Anyone else the student gives written consent to access his or her education records (a common example is graduate programs to which a student may be applying).
For a full list, visit this FERPA resource page

Interesting facts about FERPA:
  • FERPA keeps your educational records private from most people. This includes your parents if you are 18 or over!
  • Students under the age of 18 have FERPA rights, however their parents also have the ability to also access records.
  • Your FERPA rights exist all the way up until your death, not when you leave the university.
  • Something as seemingly innocent as a professor leaving graded assignments in an unmonitored area for student pick-up may be a violation of your FERPA rights.
  • If you feel your FERPA rights have been violated you may file a complain with the U.S. Department of Education.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Are You a UC San Diego Pre-Law Student?

For the second year, UC San Diego is collaborating with California Western School of Law to provide the A.I.M. for Law Program to UC San Diego undergraduate students. This program is free!

Please note that Student Legal Services is not affiliated with this program, however many of last year's A.I.M. for Law participants let us know how much they enjoyed the program. We though we would pass that information along to other interested UC San Diego students!

A.I.M. for Law will meet once a week from October 1st through December 3rd on Tuesdays from 7:10-9:00pm to do things such as:

  • Learn how to study for the LSAT 
  • Meet attorneys, law professors, and law student guest speakers 
  • Learn how to prepare and apply for law school and financial aid 
  • Practice writing law school exams 
  • Learn to brief legal cases 
  • And more!

 Former participants are currently attending law school at California Western, Georgetown, UC Irvine, and University of San Diego.  Here is what some had to say about A.I.M. for Law:

  • I really enjoyed all these classes.  I learned so much about law in this program!  It reassured me that law school is something I want to do. 
  • A.I.M. was extremely effective in preparing me for the law school application process.  It was definitely, without a question, worth the time and effort. 
  • A.I.M. for Law was extremely effective!  I gained so much knowledge about the LSAT and how to get into and be successful in law school.

To apply, contact Program Manager Drew Lautemann, Esq. at or 619-204-4678.  Please note that space is limited.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Supreme Court Recap- Affirmative Action

Not many United States Supreme Court cases directly address universities, however this past June the Court did exactly that with the case Fisher  v. University of Texas at Austin.

Ms. Fisher outside the United States Supreme Court

In the Fisher case, a young white woman was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Fisher subsequently filed a lawsuit against the University alleging that she was a victim of racial discrimination because minority students with less impressive credentials than hers had been admitted when she had not.