Notification of Rights Under FERPA
FERPA is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of a student's education record. The law applies to all schools which receive funds under an applicable program from the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives certain rights to parents regarding their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student or former student who has reached the age of 18 or is attending any school beyond the high school level. Students and former students to whom the rights have transferred are called eligible students. The following are the highlights of the law:
- Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review all the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of materials in education records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to inspect the records personally.
- Parents and eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records believed to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to emend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the records, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record commenting on the contested information in the record.
- Generally, the school must have written permission from the parent or eligible student before releasing any information from a student's record; however, the law allows schools to disclose records, without consent, to the following parties:
- School employees who have a need-to-know;
- Other schools to which a student is transferring;
- Certain government official in order to carry out lawful functions;
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
- Organizations doing certain studies for the school;
- Accrediting organizations;
- Individuals who have obtained court orders or subpoenas;
- Persons who need to know in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
- State and local authorities to whom disclosures is required by state laws adopted before November 19, 1974.
Schools may also disclose, without consent, directory-type information such as student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance; however, the school must tell parents and students of the information that is designated as directory information and provide a reasonable amount of time to allow the parent or eligible student to request the school not disclose that information about them.