The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

What is FERPA?

FERPA is a federal statute. The purposes of FERPA are twofold:

  • to ensure that parents have access to their children’s educational records and
  • to protect the privacy rights of parents and children by limiting access to these records without parental consent.
  • Manage misleading or incorrect information
  • Both Custodial and noncustodial parents have the right to access their children’s records, the right to seek to have records amended, and the right to consent to disclosure

Under FERPA, a school must provide a parent an opportunity to inspect/review his/her child’s educational records within 45 days following receipt of request. It is best to put this request in writing.  Also, an employee of school is allowed to stay with parent during review and schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies, though many do not.

“Education Records” refer to those records that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by the school or a party acting for the school. When student reaches 18 years of age or attends a postsecondary institution, he or she becomes an “eligible student” and all rights under FERPA transfer from the parent to the student.

Who is subject to FERPA rules
Records Amended
Written Release Permission