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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Overview#

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act[1] With several exceptions, schools must have a student's consent prior to the disclosure of education records after that student is 18 years old. The law applies only to educational agencies and institutions that receive funding under a program administered by the United States Department of Education.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act generally defines Protected Data into three Classifications:

  • educational information
    • Grades and GPA
    • academic evaluations
    • certain psychological evaluations
    • attendance as a student of an educational Organization
    • Data maintained by an educational Organization
  • Personally Identifiable Information
  • directory information - is defined as information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.”
The limitations imposed by FERPA vary with respect to each category.

Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record.

However, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

More Information#

There might be more information for this subject on one of the following: