Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. It protects the privacy of student records. Any educational institution that receives federal funds under any program administered by the Secretary of Education must comply with FERPA.

Rights given to students include:

  • The right to inspect and review their education records
  • The right to request and amend their education records
  • The right to limit disclosure of some “personally identifiable information” (directory information)

EDUCATIONAL RECORDS are:

  • Any record, with certain exceptions, maintained by an institution that is directly related to a student or students. These records include: files, documents, and materials (tapes, disks, film, microfilm, microfiche) which contain information directly related to students and from which students can be personally identified.

EDUCATIONAL RECORDS ARE NOT:

  • Sole Possession notes
  • Law enforcement records
  • Records maintained exclusively for individuals in their capacity as employees
  • Records of individuals who are employed as a result of their status as students (work study) are education records.
  • Medical records
  • Alumni Records

DIRECTORY INFORMATION INCLUDES:

  • Student’s name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Major
  • Participation in officially recognized activities
  • Date of attendance
  • Degree and awards received
  • Most recent educational institution attended
  • Photographs

PARENTS RIGHTS:

  • Information of students should not be given to parents without writt en consent of the student! This same rule applies to boyfriend/ girlfriend or a spouse.

Who to contact if you have questions or concerns about FERPA?

Distance Education, Early College/Dual Credit, Web Teaching , Grade Posting:

  • No matter where classes are taught, all students have the same FERPA rights.
  • No matter a student's age, all students have the same FERPA rights. When a student under 18 enrolls at a postsecondary institution, FERPA rights transfer to the student.
  • Make sure on-line students receive annual notification of their rights under FERPA.
  • If e-mail addresses are used in class, all students must have had the opportunity to request non- disclosure of directory information and the e-mail address of any student who requests non- disclosure must not be shared.
  • Websites for teaching should be accessible only to students and the teacher.
  • Posting of Grades: Since grades can never be directory information, it is generally inappropriate to post grades in a public setting. However, if the instructor posts grades in such a manner that only the instructor and the individual student know the posted grade that is acceptable.
  • Grades should not be posted with any portion of a SS# or institutional Student ID#.
  • Grades should not be emailed to the student. They should only be given in person to ensure the privacy of the student.