Student Privacy


HFS will discuss policies and procedures in a general sense with any person who contacts us. We are also happy to speak with parents, guardians and family members regarding specifics of a student's account, provided the person inquiring is authorized by the student.

HFS communicates directly only with our agreement holders, the students who are have applied for housing, who are in residence, or who have recently vacated.
HFS will not release room numbers, account balances, or even confirm if a student lives on campus to any unauthorized person including friends, relatives and parents.

HFS maintains its primary relationship with the student and communicates all expectations, obligations, requirements, account and general information directly to the student. It is the student’s responsibility to share information with their parents or guardians. HFS encourages parents and guardians to discuss a communication plan with their student to ensure they are kept up to date with relevant housing-related information. 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. "Education records" are "those records, files documents, and other materials which 1) contain information directly related to a student; and 2) are maintained by an educational institution. (20 U.S.C. § 1232g(a)(4)(A); 34 CFR § 99.3). FERPA applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Generally speaking, FERPA requires a student’s written consent for the University to disclose a student’s records or personally identifiable information from those records, even if the student is under the age of eighteen (18).

For additional information about FERPA, please visit the UW Student Guide and the U.S. Department of Education.

Financial Information Authorization

Authorization for HFS staff to discuss account activity including, but not limited to, charges, payments, balances and financial processes for your housing account. Authorizing someone to access student account information will also grant them access to the Guest Portal.

Access to HFS account information is assigned and functions separately from UW tuition and other departments' information access. Completing this authorization does not extend rights to information from other departments.

Application and Assignment Information Authorization

Authorization for HFS staff to discuss assignment activity including, but not limited to, housing application and assignment status.

Student Conduct Record Information Authorization

Authorization for HFS Residential Life conduct staff to discuss information related to a student’s Residential Life student conduct record. (Note: Disclosure to a parent regarding an under 21 student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or any policy of the UW governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, or when a student has committed a crime of violence, does not require prior consent of the student. § 99.31)

Authorizing Release of Information

Students may authorize HFS to discuss information with up to two people of their choosing. Being authorized to receive information does not mean that HFS will directly contact that person; rather, HFS will be able to answer questions and provide specific information to the authorized party when asked.

Students are asked if they want to authorize the release of information when completing their HFS Student Profile on their Application and Assignment Home Page.

After the HFS Student Profile is submitted, students may return to their Application and Assignment Home Page at any time to “Edit your Authorizations to Release Information.” Students may add or remove authorization at any time.

Upon authorizing the release of information, students will be asked to provide the following information: 

  • First and Last name of the person being authorized to receive information
  • Email of the person being authorized to receive information 
  • Creation of a 4-digit PIN

All fields must be filled out completely and accurately. If any field is left blank or completed incorrectly, HFS will be unable to discuss application, assignment, account or conduct information with the person. 

Personal Identification Number (PIN)

Students will be asked to provide a 4-digit PIN number that will be associated with the person they are authorizing. This PIN is used to verify the identity of the authorized party when HFS receives an inquiry and is used to log into the Guest Portal.

HFS will NOT share PIN numbers with anyone for any reason. Students must communicate the chosen PIN to directly to their assigned guest. Should either party forget the PIN, the student must return to their Student Profile and Edit Your Account Authorizations. From there they can view their current PIN or create a new PIN. 

Requesting Information

If an authorized person contacts us and provides authentication information, we can share information about the student's account, assignment or conduct, depending on what level of access the student has given.

Authorized parties may contact HFS via phone, person or email to request information. Upon receiving an inquiry, HFS will verify the person's identity and confirm that they are authorized to receive the information requested. HFS staff will ask for the person's name, email address, and the 4-digit pin number.

Authorized parties are also welcome to log directly into the HFS Guest Portal to view resident account information.

  1. Please contact us using your UW email address. 
  2. Include your name and account number (student/employee ID number). 
  3. Describe the error or transaction in question including the date, time and location where the error is reported to have occurred. Tell us the dollar amount if a transaction is involved. 
  4. Explain as clearly as you can why you believe it is an error or why you need more information.

If your notification is made in person or by phone, you may be required to send your complaint or question in writing. If you are asked to put your complaint or question in writing and the information is not received by the Husky Card Office within ten business days, your Husky Card account(s) may not be credited with any disputed funds. 

Unauthorized Guests

If a parent or guest contacts HFS and is not FERPA authorized, HFS staff will not be able to release any specific information related to a student. HFS will happily discuss policies and procedures in a general sense, without releasing any personal identifying information. Guests who are not FERPA authorized will be directed to this webpage so they can learn more about FERPA authorization and work with the student to become authorized if the student desires.

Rental References

HFS is typically asked to verify rental information for students who are applying for off-campus housing. When a student authorizes a property management company/landlord to obtain reference information, HFS will respond with no additional authorization required. Information disclosed typically includes dates of residency, rental amount, whether or not payments were made on time, and if you would be eligible to live with HFS again in the future. If you do not want your information shared via a rental reference, please contact HFS at hfsinfo@uw.edu to indicate that you do not want rental history information shared. 

Credit Card Privacy

Credit card information provided to HFS for the purpose of payment will be used only for the purpose of executing the requested transaction. HFS will not share your information with any company or individual. You will not receive any solicitations as a result of using your credit card to make a payment to HFS.