Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA is the acronym for the federal statute titled the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act [20 U.S.C. §1029(f) and 20 U.S.C. §1232(g)], and is also commonly known as the “Buckley Amendment.” This statute protects the privacy of a student’s educational record and prohibits the release of student information to third parties, including the student's parents, absent the student’s consent, unless such information is defined as “directory information” or the requestor is a statutorily designated individual. Directory information includes the student’s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degree and award received, most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, e-mail address, and other information as defined by university policy that is not contradictory to the statute. Although a university may release this information, it is not required to do so.
- Gonzaga University et al. v. Doe , U.S. Supreme Court (June 20, 2002). The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act does not create a private cause of action that can be enforced under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983.
- J. Marshall Osborn and Center for Equal Opportunity v. Bd. of Regents of the Univ. of Wisconsin System , Wisconsin Supreme Court (July 2, 2002). The plaintiff requested applicant records from the defendant, which included test scores, class rank, grade point average, race, gender and ethnicity of the applicants for the years 1993 to 1997. The Court held that under the Wisconsin open records statute, the university is required to disclose this information since it would not violate FERPA.
- Owasso Independent School Dist. No. 1-011 v. Falvo , U.S. Supreme Court (February 19, 2002). The Court held that peer grading in the classroom does not violate the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
- United States of America v. Miami Univ. and The Ohio State Univ . , U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (June 27, 2002). Student disciplinary records are "education records" under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
- FERPA Guidance Letter on Clarifying Student Information that can be Released to Parents Under FERPA (July 3, 2007)
- FERPA Guidance Letter to Eligible Student Regarding Student Teaching Records (November 1, 2005)
- FERPA Guidance Letter Regarding Disclosure of Education Records by Faculty Member (October 11, 2005)
- FERPA Guidance Letter Regarding School Offical Using Access to Education Records without Legitmate Educational Interest; Limits of Health or Safety Emergency Exception (March 11, 2005)
- Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education
- FERPA Library ( Family Policy Compliance Office , U.S. Department of Education)
- Guidelines on Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act Amendment , Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education (October 24, 2002).
- " Guidance on FERPA and Anti-Terrorism Activities ," ( Family Policy Compliance Office , U.S. Department of Education) (April 2002)
Tutorials and Training Materials
Frequently Asked Questions