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FERPA for Parents and Student

FERPA for Parents and Student

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, in higher education, deals specifically with the education records of students who reach the age of 18 or who attend a post-secondary institution, affording them certain rights with respect to those records. Institutions may grant a student more rights than those guaranteed in the Act.

FERPA applies to students who are or have been in attendance, including those in cooperative and correspondence study.

Primary Rights Afforded to Students By FERPA:

  • Right to inspect and review the education records
  • Right to seek to have the records amended
  • Right to have some control over the disclosure of information from the records. 
  • Generally, schools must have written permission from the 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, email, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell eligible students about directory information and allow eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. 

Right to file complaints with:

U.S. Department of Education
Student Privacy Policy Office
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20202-8520

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