Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
- Written documents; (including student advising folders)
- Computer Media
- Microfilm and Microfiche
- Video or audio tapes or CDs
- Any record that contains personally identifiable information that is directly related to the student is an educational record under FERPA.
Access to Education Records
- Schools are required by FERPA to:
- Provide a student with an opportunity to inspect and review his or her education records within 45 days of the receipt of a request
- Provide a student with copies of education records or otherwise make the records available to the student if the student, for instance, lives outside of commuting distance of the school
- Retract the names and other personally identifiable information about other students that may be included in the students education records
- Schools are NOT required by FERPA to:
- Create or maintain education records
- Provide students with calendars, notices, or other information which does not generally contain information directly related to the student
- Respond to questions about the student
Amendment of Education Records
- Under FERPA, a school must:
- Consider a request from a student to amend inaccurate or misleading information on the student’s education records;
- Offer the student a hearing on the matter if it decides not to amend the records in accordance with the request;
- Offer the student the right to place a statement to be kept and disclosed with the record if as a result of the hearing the school still decides not to amend the record.
- A school is not required to consider requests for amendment under FERPA that:
- Seek to change a grade or disciplinary decision
- Seek to change the opinions or reflections of a school official or other person reflected in an education record
Records Not Considered As Educational Records
- Private notes of individual staff or faculty (NOT kept in student advising folders)
- Campus police records
- Medical records
- Statistical data compilations that contain no mention of personally identifiable information about any specific student
- Phone Number and e-mail address
- Dates of attendance
- Degree(s) awarded
- Enrollment status
- Major field of study
- Social security numbers
- Student identification number
- Race, ethnicity, and/or nationality
- Transcripts; grade reports
- Specify the records to be disclosed
- State the purpose of the disclosure
- Identify the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure is to be made
- The date
- The signature of the student whose record is to be disclosed
- The signature of the custodian of the education record
- A school MAY disclose education records without consent when:
- The disclosure is to school officials who have been determined to have legitimate educational interests as set forth in the institutions annual notification of rights to students;
- The student is seeking or intending to enroll in another school
- The disclosure is to state or local educational authorities auditing or enforcing Federal or State supported education programs or enforcing Federal laws which relate to those programs;
- The disclosure is to the parents of a student who is a dependent for income tax purposes;
- The disclosure is in connection with determining eligibility, amounts, and terms for financial aid or enforcing the terms and conditions of financial aid;
- The disclosure is pursuant to a lawfully issued court order or subpoena; or
- The information disclosed has been appropriately designated as directory information by the school.
- A school must annually notify students in attendance that they may:
- Inspect and review their education records;
- Seek amendment of inaccurate or misleading information in their education records;
- Consent to most disclosures of personally identifiable information from education records
- The annual notice must also include:
- Information for a student to file a complaint of an alleged violation with the FPCO;
- A description of who is considered to be a school official and what is considered to be a legitimate educational interest so that information may be shared with that individual; and
- Information about who to contact to seek access or amendment of education records.
Means of Notification
- Student newspaper
- Student programs guides
- Rules handbook
- Other reasonable means
- Notification does NOT have to be made individually to students
- Complaints of alleged violations may be addressed to:
- Family Policy Compliance Office
US Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920
- Complaints must be:
- Be timely submitted, not later than 180 days from date you learned of the circumstances of the alleged violation.
- Contain specific allegations of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, including:
- Relevant dates
- Names and titles of those school officials and others involved
- A specific description of the education record around which the alleged violation occurred
- A description of any contact with school officials regarding the matter, including dates and estimated times of telephone calls and/or copies of any correspondence exchanged
- The names and address of the school, school district, and superintendent of the district
- Any additional evidence that would be helpful
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 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 produce a Federal Income Tax Return verifying the student as a dependent, and sign a Request By Parent or Guardian for Access to Student Records in the Admissions and Records Office.
- Parent may have access if the student is willing to release information.
- Signing a FERPA Waiver (release) form is an (Option) for the student, it is not a requirement. Eastern Oklahoma State College will only release information if the student elects this option. Information may be released if the student has filed a signed release form with the Registrar's Office. All signed release forms will be kept on file in the Registrar/Record's Management Office, and a student may revise his/her waiver at any time.
Health and Safety Exemption Requirement
Eastern will only disclose Personally Identifiable Information from an education record to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.