Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment, protects the privacy of student records. The Act provides for the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend those records, and to limit disclosure of information from the records. The Act applies to all institutions that are the recipients of federal funding.
- Sole-possession records or private notes held by educational personnel which are not accessible or released to other personnel
- Law enforcement or campus security records which are solely for law enforcement purposes
- Records relating to an individual's employment by the institution (unless employment is contingent on student status)
- Records relating to treatment provided by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment
- Records of an institution which contain only information about an individual obtained after that person is no longer a student at that institution (i.e., alumni records)
- Any information that pertains to another student
- Financial records of the student's parents
- Some confidential letters and statements of recommendation under conditions described in FERPA section 99.12.
- School officials who have "legitimate educational interests" as defined in the college's annual FERPA notification
- Parents of a "dependent student" as defined by the Internal Revenue Code
- The issuer of a judicial order or subpoena which allows the institution to release records without the student's consent, however, a "reasonable effort" must generally be made to notify the student before complying with the order
With specific exceptions (listed below), a signed and dated consent by the student must be provided by the student before any disclosure is made. The written consent must:
- Specify the records that may be disclosed
- State the purpose of disclosure
- Identify the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made
- The student's name
- Name of the student's parent or other family members
- Address of the student or student's family
- A personal identifier, such as a social security number or student number
- A list of personal characteristics that would make the student's identity easily traceable
The exceptions are:
- To college faculty, staff, and administrators with a legitimate educational interest (defined in the college's annual notification)
- To parents of a "dependent student"
- To Federal, State and local education authorities involving an audit or evaluation of compliance with education programs
- In connection with processing Financial Aid
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, educational institutions
- To accrediting organizations
- To transfer college if student has formally applied for admission to attend the transfer college
- To comply with judicial order or subpoena
- Health or safety emergency
- Directory information
- To the student
- Results of disciplinary hearing to an alleged victim of a crime of violence
Requests to disclose should always be handled with caution and approached on a case-by-case basis.
For further information regarding FERPA or clarification regarding FERPA, contact the following FERPA representatives:
Student Records Representative
Admissions & Records Office
Building 1600, Second Floor
Please send all Admissions and Records inquires via email.
Drop box is located in the hallway on the wall near the back entrance door that can be used before and after business hours.