Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is the Federal law that protects the privacy of a student’s educational records.  The law applies to all schools that receive funds from the US Department of Education.

Parents and eligible students (18 and older) have the right to review records.  Copies can be made of anything included in the records, but the school does not have to provide them for free.  If parents are a great distance away then copies can be requested and sent to the parents.

Parents and eligible students have the right to request that corrections be made to the records if they find an error in the record.  If the school does not amend the record, a formal hearing can be requested.  If after the hearing, the school still does not change the record, a written statement may be placed in the record about the contested information.

Parents or eligible students must give written permission in order for schools to release any information from a student’s education record.

FERPA allows schools to share student records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

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

Schools may give basic contact information about the student without consent. 

Schools must notify parents of these rights annually.

General Guidlines

Wrightslaw on FERPA