University of Kentucky Parent Association

Frequently Asked Questions - Academic Issues

Will a copy of my son or daughter's grades be mailed to my home?
No, the University does not mail paper copies of students' grades to their permanent addresses. Students can check their final semester grades online via myUK (myuk.uky.edu). Parents do not have access to this information in accordance with federal law.

What is FERPA and how does it affect my student and me?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also known as the Buckley Amendment) protects the privacy of educational records. Once a student turns 18 or attends a postsecondary institution, rights that had been the parents' are transferred to the student. These rights include inspecting educational records and requesting that inaccurate records be corrected. Generally, the student's written permission must be obtained before any information from his or her educational records can be released. Directory information (including name, address, etc.) can still be released without the student's permission unless the student has formally requested otherwise. See Part V of UK's Student Rights and Responsibilities for more information on student records (www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/Code/part5.html). The U.S. Department of Education website contains more information on FERPA (www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html). Parents may find that University officials, including the academic ombud, academic advisors, the Dean of Students Office staff, and Registrar's Office staff, are unable to speak with them regarding their students in order to comply with FERPA regulations. In some cases, the student must grant permission for specific University officials to speak with his or her parents. Some offices have a form for students to fill out in those cases.

How does UK handle midterm grades?
Professors are required to give students feedback on their midterm performance prior to the final deadline to drop a course each semester. Students can check their midterm grades online via myUK (myuk.uky.edu).

Who is the academic ombud and what does he or she do?
The academic ombud is a tenured faculty member appointed by the president to serve for a term of one year. The academic ombud is a neutral party who investigates and mediates academic-related disputes and grievances. Everything told to the academic ombud is kept strictly confidential. The Office of the Academic Ombud is located in 109 Bradley Hall and can be reached by calling (859) 257-3737 or e-mailing ombud@uky.edu. Visit www.uky.edu/Ombud/ for more information.

Who should my student contact for verification of enrollment or for grade information for the good student discount our insurance company offers?
The Registrar's Office handles these requests. Students should stop by the Funkhouser Building to take care of these needs. In the case that confidential information (such as grades or Social Security number) will be released, the student will have to appear in person to make the request (with a photo ID) or will have to send a written request to the Registrar's Office. See www.uky.edu/Registrar/various_student_services.htm for more details.

Where can my student get a transcript?
Unofficial transcripts are available online through myUK (https://myuk.uky.edu/) only for those who graduated after 1988. Official transcripts are available through the Registrar's Office: www.uky.edu/Registrar/Transcripts.htm.

Where can I access the academic calendar?
The academic calendar is available online through the Registrar's Office: www.uky.edu/Registrar/AcademicCalendar.htm.

What academic resources are available to my student?
The Study, 3rd Floor Kirwan-Blanding Complex Commons
(859) 257-1356, www.uky.edu/ugs/study

The Study is located on the 3rd floor of the Kirwan-Blanding Complex Commons and is home to Academic Enhancement. The Study provides free academic consultations, peer tutoring, and study strategy seminars all in one central location. The Study promotes effective and efficient learning strategies that result in a more successful academic life. Academic Enhancement is dedicated to improving any students’ overall academic experience at the University of Kentucky.

Will the University notify my hometown newspaper that my son or daughter made the Dean's List?
Yes, the Registrar's Office compiles the names of Dean's List students and UK Public Relations sends them to hometown newspapers. Each newspaper then decides whether or not to publish this information. Given the large number of students who attend UK, it takes some time after the end of the semester for the Dean's List to be made available online. Visit www.uky.edu/PR/News/DeansList/ for additional information.

Our local newspaper published the Dean's List but my son or daughter was not on the list and should have been. What happened?
There are several reasons why someone is inadvertently left off of the Dean's List; names are updated as grades come in and a grade may have been entered after our list was pulled or a computer glitch may have occurred. However, the most likely culprit is that your son or daughter has updated their permanent address to reflect their local residence. When we distribute the list, each student is listed by the city of permanent residence. The easiest way to correct this problem is to have your son or daughter go into their myUK account and update their permanent address. UK Public Relations is unable to make any changes to addresses.

The Dean's List has my son or daughter listed as a junior but they are a sophomore. Can we correct this error?
The University of Kentucky classifies students strictly by hours earned, regardless of the number of semesters they have spent on campus. The classifications break down as followed: freshmen have earned 0-29 hours, sophomores between 30-59 hours, juniors 60-89 hours and seniors 90 and above.

What constitutes an excused absence? What should my student do in the event of an emergency that requires absences from class?
In order to have a class absence excused, some instructors may require students to verify the legitimacy of the absence.

The following are acceptable reasons for class absence:

  1. Illness of the student or serious illness of a member of the student's immediate family
  2. Death of a member of the student's immediate family
  3. Trips for members of student organizations sponsored by an academic unit, trips for University classes, and trips for participation in intercollegiate athletic events
  4. Major religious holidays (prior notification required)
  5. Any other circumstance which the instructor finds reasonable cause for nonattendance

In absences related to illness, death or travel, an instructor will require verification such as a written doctor's excuse, a death notice from a newspaper or formal notification from University personnel documenting participation in a trip.

When feasible, students should notify their instructors prior to the occurrence of an absence. If prior notification is impossible, students have one week from the time of the excused absence to notify instructors.

For more information, please check the University Bulletin (available online at http://www.uky.edu/Registrar/bulletinCurrent/acreq.pdf).

Does UK cancel classes in the event of severe winter weather?

The University rarely shuts down or even alters its class schedule. In the event of severe weather, the executive vice president for finance and administration consults with UK Police and local authorities and considers road conditions and availability of public transportation before making a decision. Some University operations can never shut down, including the residence halls, UK Hospital, UK Police, and physical plant operations. Announcements about the cancellation of class or delay of classes will normally be made by 6 a.m. Students can call the UK Infoline at (859) 257-5684, check UK local cable channel 16 and 19, visit www.uky.edu, listen to WUKY-91.3, or check local radio and television stations to find out if classes are in session or not. UK Alert will also be used to notify subscribers of weather delays and closings. Visit www.uky.edu/UKAlert to sign up.

What resources are available for my student who is having trouble selecting a major or a career?

The Counseling Center offers assistance to students who are uncertain what major or career they should pursue. All counseling services are confidential and free to eligible students. Visit www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/Counseling/career.html for more information.

Where can my student and I get more information on Commencement?

The University's Commencement website offers information on attending and preparing for Commencement: www.uky.edu/Commencement.htm. The UK Alumni Association hosts Senior Salute each spring for graduating seniors. Visit www.ukalumni.net for more information.

Who should my student contact to update contact information?

Your student does not need to contact any particular office to update contact information. Information can easily be updated at any time on myUK (myuk.uky.edu/).