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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.