FERPA Informational Guide

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)


·     What is FERPA?

·     What constitutes an education record?

·     What are the rights of students?

·     What is not an education record?

·     Under what circumstances may an institution disclose information from education records without consent?

·     What is directory information?

·     How do students notify the University that they would like their directory information handled as confidential information?

·     What do students do if they would like one or more of their parent(s) or guardian(s) to have access to the information contained in their education record?

·     Can the consent form be submitted online?

·     How long will the consent be in effect?

·     How do students revoke their consent to release information?

·     Do parents or guardians of university students have the right to see their children's education records? Does it make a difference if they are paying the tuition?

·     What if my child is a minor and he or she is taking classes at the University while still in high school - do I have rights?

·     May a postsecondary institution disclose to a parent, without the student's consent, information regarding a student's violation of the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance?

·     Can information be disclosed without consent for registered sex offenders?

·     Can non-directory (personally identifiable) information be disclosed during a disaster or other health or safety emergency? 

·     Are instructors permitted to post grades by Social Security Numbers/CWIDs?

·     Is a signed consent form still needed if a student and family members have an appointment with faculty or staff to review the student's academic progress?

·     Can education records (grades, billing, and financial data) be sent to students via email?

·     Are education records of student athletes covered by FERPA?

·     Do student account balances and medical records meet the definition of an education records under FERPA?

·     Where can I get more information regarding FERPA?


What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that sets forth requirements regarding the privacy of student records. FERPA governs the release of these records (known as education records) maintained by an educational institution and access to these records. When a student turns 18 years old, or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student. The FERPA statute is found at 20 U.S.C § 1232g and the FERPA regulations are found at 34 CFR Part 99. http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/faq.html.

What constitutes an education record?
An education record is any record that contains information directly related to a student that is maintained by the institution. This includes, but is not limited to, grade information, disciplinary documentation, billing, financial aid data, and medical records.