Understanding Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

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FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of students’ education records. The term “education records” means those records that are (1) directly related to a student and (2) maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

At the postsecondary level, FERPA affords “eligible students” the right to have access to their education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from the records.