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 record 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 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. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.
For additional information, you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) (voice). Individuals who use TDD may call 1-800-437-0833.
"Educational records" of a student include records, files, documents, and other materials regularly maintained by the school that contain information directly related to a student and that are maintained in connection with the student's attendance at the school.
The school guarantees that any student (or parent or guardian if the student is a dependent minor) who wishes to gain access to review his education records may do so with the administrator of the school.