FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) Requirements

Op3.12-8 FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) Requirements

What is my role as Department Head?

The role of the Department Head is to ensure that his/her department is fully compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and related university policy. To achieve this role, this requires formal training or periodic re-orientation for faculty and staff members.

What are the basic requirements of the law?

FERPA is designed to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Please see the university’s FERPA/Confidentiality of Student Education Records policy.

The essence of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act states that college students must be permitted to inspect their own educational records. In addition, school officials may not disclose personally identifiable information about students nor permit inspection of their records without their written permission, unless such action is covered by certain exceptions.

Failure to comply with FERPA could result in the withholding of federal funds, including student financial aid, or the cost of lawsuits filed.

A large amount of helpful information is posted on the university’s website. Please see FERPA information.

Where can I find detailed training for FERPA?

On a practical basis – what should I do?

  • Be aware of the regulatory requirements regarding protection of student information, and the implications of non-compliance.
  • Ensure that your faculty and staff have been trained in FERPA requirements as well.

What if I have questions?

If you have any question regarding FERPA information, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 417-836-5520 or Legal Counsel.