Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

What is FERPA?

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and is a federal law that was enacted in 1974. FERPA protects the privacy of student education records. All educational institutions that receive federal funding must comply with FERPA.

Why should I care about FERPA?

If you're a student, it's important for you to understand your rights under FERPA. If you're a parent, you'll need to understand how the law changes once your student enters a post-secondary institution. If you're a University employee, you'll need to understand what information can and cannot be released, and the appropriate procedures for release of student information.

What are students' rights under FERPA?

Eligible students have four primary rights under FERPA including the right to:

  1. inspect their education records,
  2. consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent,
  3. seek correction of their records, to prevent inaccurate or misleading information, and
  4. file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if they feel their rights are being violated.

Do parents have any rights under FERPA?

In primary and secondary educational institutions (i.e. K-12), all FERPA rights belong to the parent. However, when the student reaches the age of 18 or begins to attend a post-secondary institution regardless of age, all FERPA rights transfer to the student.

Where can I find more information about FERPA?

FERPA forms

FERPA contact list