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FERPA Policy

What is FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974), As Amended?

  • FERPA is a Federal Law 
  • Also known as the Buckley Amendment 
  • Protects the privacy of a student's educational records 
  • Applies to all educational agencies or institutions that receive federal funds 

What information can be released without student consent?

The law allows disclosure without consent to: 

  • School employees who have a legitimate educational interest 
  • Other schools, upon request, in which a student is seeking or intending to enroll 
  • Accrediting organizations 
  • Organizations doing certain studies for or on behalf of the college 
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student to determine eligibility, amount or conditions of financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of aid. 
  • Parents when a student over 18 is still a dependent (see additional information under parental rights). 
  • Certain government officials of the U. S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with an audit, authorized representatives of the U. S. Attorney General for law enforcement purposes or state or federally supported education programs 
  • Individuals who have obtained a judicial order or subpoena 
  • School officials who have a need to know concerning disciplinary action taken against a student 
  • Appropriate parties who need to know in cases of health and safety emergencies when necessary to protect the health and safety of the student and/or others 
  • State and local authorities, within the juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law 
  • Alleged victim of a crime of violence the results of a disciplinary proceeding with respect to that crime 
  • Parent or legal guardian of a student under the age of 21, information regarding any violation of university policy or state, federal or local law, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance 
  • Those requesting directory information on a student provided the student has not requested his or her information be withheld 

What rights do parents have under FERPA?

FERPA gives certain rights to parents regarding their children's educational records:

  • Rights transfer to the student
  • Upon reaching 18 years of age or
  • Attending any school beyond the secondary level.

When may a parent access a student's educational records?

  • Law allows parental access if a student is claimed as a dependent for Federal income tax purposes.
  • Access is granted to both the parent who claims the student as well as the parent who is not claiming the student.
  • Parent must complete the Parental Affidavit of Dependency and Request for Academic Information form (available for download here or for pick-up in the Student Development Division's Registrar's Office) each time information is requested. 

The following document can be read using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Parental Affidavit of Dependency and Request for Academic Information 

How can a parent access student information if the student is not being claimed by either parent for Federal income tax purposes?

  • Parent can have access only if the student is willing to release information.
  • Student must complete the Student Consent for Release of Records (available for download here or for pick-up in the Student Development Division' Registrar's Office). 

The following document can be read using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Student Consent for Release of Records

  • A parent may access student information but may not act on the student's behalf except in emergency situations. 

Download a copy of the FERPA FAQ from the US Department of Education.

For more information, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Development at 336.342.4261, ext. 2110.