What is FERPA?

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

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

Right to Records Inspection 

A student has a right to inspect and review any education record permitted under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Education records are maintained in a number of University offices. Requests to review records must be made in writing to the University Registrar or Assistant Registrar who shall comply with a request within 45 days upon receipt. When a record contains personally identifiable information about more than one student, a student may inspect only that information which relates to the student.

 From CRR 180.020:

 Rights of Inspection and Review of Education Records

The University shall provide students access to their educational records except as provided in Section 180.020.G.
The University shall comply with a request within a reasonable period of time, but in no case more than 45 days after the request has been received.
The University shall respond to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of those records.
If circumstances effectively prevent the student from exercising the right to inspect and review the student’s education records, the University shall:
Provide the student with a copy of the records requested; or
Make other arrangements for the student to inspect and review the requested records.
The University shall not destroy any education records if there is an outstanding request to inspect and review the records under this section.
 

Limitation on Access

If the education records of a student contain information on more than one student, the student may inspect and review or be informed of only the specific information about that student.
The University will not permit a student to inspect and review education records that are:
Financial records, including any information those records contain, of the student’s parents;
Confidential letters and confidential statements of recommendation placed in the education records of the student before January 1, 1975, as long as the statements are used only for the purposes for which they were specifically intended; and
Confidential letters and confidential statements of recommendation placed in the student’s education records after January 1, 1975, if:
 
(1) The student has waived the right to inspect and review those letters and statements; and
(2) Those letters and statements are related to the student’s:
(a) Admission to the University;
(b) Application for employment;
(c) Receipt of an honor or honorary recognition.