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."
● Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records
maintained by the school. 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.
● Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to
be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend 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 record,
the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view
about the contested information.
● 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, FERPA 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.
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.
For additional information, you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) (voice). Individuals who use TDD
may use the Federal Relay Service .
Or you may contact us at the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520