FERPA Introduction

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) is federal legislation in the United States that protects the privacy of students' personally identifiable information (PII). FERPA applies to all educational institutions that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

Parental Rights

Parents are given three main rights under FERPA:

1. They have the right to access their student’s education record,

2. They can seek to amend their student’s education record, and

3. They can consent to disclose information from their student’s education record.


Education Record: Anything that directly relates to a student and is maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a third party acting for the agency

Eligible Student: A student age 18 or older or enrolled in a postsecondary institution at any age

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Parent: Natural parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or guardian

(PII) Personally Identifiable Information: Includes information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity either directly or indirectly through linkages with other information