The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law that affords parents the right to have access to their children's education records, the right to seek to have the records amended and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records. When a student turns 18 years old, or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student ("eligible student"). Regulations for FERPA were amended, effective in January 2012.
The U.S. Department of Education's Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is a one-stop website for guidance, tools, and best practices on data privacy, security and confidentiality of student records, including FERPA compliance.
Also, see the Department's Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO), which provides parents, eligible students, and school officials at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels with a variety of resources and information regarding FERPA and the Pupil Rights Amendment (PPA).
- Guidance: Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services: Model Terms of Service and accompanying video provide guidnace for school districts and others to identify strong studen privacy protections in terms of service agreements (February 2015)
- Guidance for "Eligible Students": General information about FERPA (February 2011)
- FPCO Letter Re: Applicability of FERPA to Virginia Sex Offender Registry Law Requiring Disclosure of Applicant Information by Postsecondary Institutions (August 2007)
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