Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that has policies and procedures for disclosing information contained in student records and to protect the privacy of these records.
The student is the "owner" of his or her education record, and the institution is the "custodian" of that record.
FERPA begins when a student becomes 18 or enrolls in a higher education institution at any age.
Students have the right to see everything in their "education record" except:
- Information about other students.
- Financial records of their parents/guardians.
- Confidential letters of recommendation.
Education records include any record maintained by the institution that is related to the student (in whatever format or medium) with some defined exceptions:
- Records in the "sole possession of the maker" (e.g. private advising notes).
- Law enforcement records created by a law enforcement agency for that purpose.
- Employment records (unless the employment is based on student status).
- Medical/psychological treatment records (e.g. from a health or counseling center).
- Alumni records