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:
- inspect their education records,
- consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent,
- seek correction of their records, to prevent inaccurate or misleading information, and
- 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?
- The entire Missouri State Student Rights (FERPA) Policy is available in the University Policy Library.
- Many questions are addressed in the FERPA Frequently Asked Questions. Contact the Office of the Registrar, Carrington Hall, Room 320, 417-836-5520, if you have any additional questions.
- A FERPA online training program is available to all University employees in My Missouri State → Profile Tab → Professional Development Channel → My Learning Connection.
- More information is available on the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA website.
- The FERPA Hold Request form is used by currently enrolled students to request that the University not release any "directory information".
- The FERPA Hold Removal form is used to rescind a FERPA hold.
- The People Search website is the University's official directory of students, faculty, and staff. A request to exclude information from People Search may be completed by currently enrolled students. To be removed from anything other than People Search, including the Outlook Address Book, a FERPA hold must be completed. Read more about People Search and your options regarding display of your information.
- The Release of Information Authorization form is used by students to authorize the University to disclose education records that are otherwise protected under FERPA.
- The Letter of Recommendation Authorization form is used by students to authorize a University employee to include personally identifiable information (such as grades, GPA, etc.) in a letter of recommendation.
- The Acknowledgement of Confidentiality Regulations form may be used as a written agreement for any employee (i.e., full-time, part-time, student) who has access to private/confidential information.