FERPA Rights and Policy Notice

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law which was enacted in order to protect students' education records at all schools that receive funds under a program of the U. S. Department of Education. This document provides a summary of this law.

 
Rights of the Student or Parent
FERPA gives a student's parents certain rights over the student's education records until the student reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. At that time, the rights are transferred from the parents to the eligible student. These rights enable the eligible student or parents to:

  • Inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. If the student and parents are unable to review the records at the school, they can request copies from the school (and may be charged a fee for them).
  • Request that a school correct the student's records if they believe they are incorrect or misleading. If the school chooses not to update the student's records, the student or parent has a right to a formal hearing. If, after the hearing, the school still decides not to modify the student's records, the parent or student can include a statement in the records which contests the information.

When a School Does Not Need Written Consent
Generally, a school must have written permission from the parent or student before releasing any information from the student's records. Schools can, however, disclose the student's records without the student's or parent's consent to any of the following parties or under any of the following conditions:

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest
  • Other schools to which the student is transferring
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation
  • Appropriate parties in connection with the student's financial aid
  • Organizations which are conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school
  • Accrediting organizations
  • In order to comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law

Disclosure of Directory Information
Schools do not need consent to disclose "directory" information, such as the student's name, address, telephone number, date of birth, place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. Schools must, however, tell parents and the student about the directory information and give them a reasonable amount of time to request that the directory information not be disclosed.
 
Annual Notification of Rights
Each year, schools are required to notify the student and parents of their rights under FERPA. This notification may come in the form of a letter, a note in a PTA bulletin or the student handbook, or a newspaper article.
 
For More Information
If you need additional information about FERPA, call 202-260-3887. Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.