FERPA Guidelines

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (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. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U. S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

  • Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
  • Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
  • Generally,schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
    • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
    • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    • Accrediting organizations;
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law. Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA.

FERPA General Guidance for Students

General Information includes, but is not limited to, the following:

FERPA is a Federal law that applies to educational agencies and institutions that receive funding under a program administered by the U. S. Department of Education. The statute is found at 20 U.S.C. § 1232g and the Department's regulations are found at 34 CFR Part 99.

Under FERPA, schools must generally afford students who are 18 years or over, or attending a postsecondary institution:

  • Access to their education records
  • An opportunity to seek to have the records amended
  • Some control over the disclosure of information from the records.
    Access to Education Records includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Schools are required by FERPA to:
    • Provide a student with an opportunity to inspect and review his or her education records within 45 days of the receipt of a request
    • Provide a student with copies of education records or otherwise make the records available to the student if the student, for instance, lives outside of commuting distance of the school
    • Redact the names and other personally identifiable information about other students that may be included in the student's education records.
  • Schools are not required by FERPA to:
    • Create or maintain education records;
    • Provide students with calendars, notices, or other information which does not generally contain information directly related to the student;
    • Respond to questions about the student.

Disclosure of Education Records includes, but is not limited to, the following:

A school must:

  • Have a student's consent prior to the disclosure of education records:
  • Ensure that the consent is signed and dated and states the purpose of the disclosure.

A school MAY disclose education records without consent when:

  • The disclosure is to school officials who have been determined to have legitimate educational interests as set forth in the institution's annual notification of rights to students;
  • The student is seeking or intending to enroll in another school;
  • The disclosure is to state or local educational authorities auditing or enforcing Federal or State supported educational programs or enforcing Federal laws which relate to those programs;
  • The disclosure is to the parents of a student who is a dependent for income tax purposes;
  • The disclosure is in connection with determining eligibility, amounts, and terms for financial aid or enforcing the terms and conditions of financial aid;
  • The disclosure is pursuant to a lawfully issued court order or subpoena; or
  • The information disclosed has been appropriately designated as directory information by the school. FERPA General Guidance for Parents FERPA is a Federal law that applies to educational agencies and institutions that receive funding under a program administered by the U. S. Department of Education. Parochial and private schools at the elementary school levels do not generally receive such funding and, therefore, are not subject to FERPA. The statute is found at 20 U. S. C. § 1232g and the Department's regulations are found at 34 CFR Part 99. Under FERPA, schools must generally afford parents: access to their children's education records – an opportunity to seek to have the records amended – some control over the disclosure of information from the records. Parents may access, seek to amend, or consent to disclosures of their children's education records, unless there is a court order or other legal document specifically stating otherwise. When a student turns 18 years of age or attends a postsecondary institution, the student, and not the parent, may access, seek to amend, and consent to disclosures of his or her educational records. Access to Education Records includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Schools are required by FERPA to:
    • Provide a parent with an opportunity to inspect and review his or her child's education records within 45 days of the receipt of a request
    • Provide a parent with copies of education records or otherwise make the records available to the parent if the parent, for instance, lives outside of commuting distance of the school
    • Redact the names and other personally identifiable information about other students that may be included in the child's education records.