The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Guides us in protecting the privacy of student educational records
- Applies to those institutions that regularly receive funding from the Department of Education
- Guarantees students three primary rights:
- Right to inspect and review education records
- Right to seek to amend education records
- Right to have some control over the disclosure of information from education records
- Guarantees these right to individuals who have reached the age of 18 or who attend a postsecondary institution
- Allows an institution to release information about a student without written consent:
3. Dates of attendance
4. Degrees Awarded
- Unless excepted by FERPA, a signed, written consent is required for the release of non-directory information from education records.
- Students can sign a release of information form yearly that allows faculty and staff to talk with designated individuals about their education records. These forms are maintained in the Registrar's Office.
- An education record is information that is shared, recorded and maintained in any way
- handwritten report or file
- printed documents
- computer images or data
- video or film
- audio tape
- microfilm or microfiche
- Gives students the right to restrict some or all of the information from their education records
- Allows release of information without prior written consent under the following conditions:
- to the student
- to school officials
- to schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll
- to Federal, state and local authorities involved in the audit or evaluation of compliance with education programs
- to comply with a judicial order or subpoena
- in connection with financial aid
- to organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of educational institutions
- to accrediting organizations
- to the parents of a dependent student (special guidelines apply)
- when a health or safety emergency is apparent
- when directory information is being released
- to an alleged victim of a crime of violence, the results of a disciplinary hearing may be disclosed.
1. A good rule of thumb: FERPA is to education as HIPPA is to medical/health information.
2. Always call the Registrar's Office for guidance if you are unsure.