|Family Education Rights and Privacy Act|
|CITATION||20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99 (Final Rule)|
|SUMMARY||FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of students’ educational records.|
|DATA COVERED||FERPA covers “education records” which is defined to mean 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.|
FERPA applies to educational agencies and institutions that receive funds under any program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. This includes virtually all public schools and school districts and most private and public postsecondary institutions, including medical and other professional schools.
Private and religious schools at the elementary and secondary level generally do not receive funds from the Department of Education and are, therefore, not subject to FERPA.
|PENALTIES||While parents and eligible students do not have a right to sue for violations of FERPA in a court of law, the statute provides that the Secretary may not make funds available to any agency or institution that has a policy or practice of violating parents’ and students’ rights under the statute with regard to consent to the disclosure of education records. As such, parents and eligible students may file a complaint with the Office if they believe that a school has violated their rights under FERPA and has disclosed education records inconsistent with these regulations.|