Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)


Purpose:

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.

Impact:

  • Any disclosure (stated or implied) of a student’s educational information or personally identifiable data requires prior consent of the student.
  • Access to educational records and information is to occur through a defined process managed by a designated institutional representative.
  • Access to educational information is provided to staff and faculty with a “legitimate educational interest” with the limitation that the information not be re-released to any other person, stated or implied in any way, and that printed or recorded versions of the information will be surrendered once the “legitimate educational interest” has been satisfied. School officials are responsible for securing and maintaining educational records and information while in their possession or access.

Educational information on a student may not be disclosed to parents, spouses, relatives, former students, employers, or any other individuals without prior written consent of the named student.

When requested and with consent, copies of a student’s educational records (transcripts, schedules, reports, etc.) will be provided by the designated school official. Authority to provide a copy of the records to the named student remains only with the designated official. The designated official likewise provides for the inspection and appeal of a student’s record.

Failure to abide by the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act can result in individual liabilities of up to $10,000 in fines and 5 years in prison.

For additional information, you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) (voice). Individuals who use TYY are referred to: http://www.ed.gov/about/contacts/gen/index.html#frs