FERPA: What you need to know

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Legal Requirements:

"FERPA is a Federal law that is administered by the Family Policy Compliance Office (Office) in the U.S. Department of Education (Department). 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99. FERPA applies to all educational agencies and institutions (e.g., schools) that receive funding under any program administered by the Department."

It grants four specific rights to post-secondary students:

• to see the information that the institution is keeping on the student;

• to seek amendment to those records and, in certain cases, append a statement to the record;

• to consent to disclosure of his or her records;

• to file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington.

Family Policy Compliance Office 
U.S. Department of Education 400
Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605


FERPA applies to all educational agencies or institutions that receive funds under any program administered by the Secretary of Education. (Most financial aid is administered by the Secretary of Education.)

Student Information Types:

Student educational records include information provided by a student for use in the educational process, such as the following:

• personal information (name, etc.)

• enrollment records

• student's exams or papers

• grades

• schedules

• disciplinary files

Storage media for an educational record may vary and can include one or more of the following:

• document in the registrar's office

• electronic document or e-mail

• computer printout in your office

• class list on your desktop

• computer display screen

• notes taken during an advising session

• database


Additional Information:

U.S. Department of Education: FERPA General Guidance for Students

SUNY Brockport FERPA Policy


Student Conduct and FERPA

"Once a student reaches 18 years of age or attends a postsecondary institution, he or she becomes an "eligible student," and all rights formerly given to parents under FERPA transfer to the student. The eligible student has the right to have access to his or her education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, the right to have control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the records."

"FERPA generally prohibits the improper disclosure of personally identifiable information derived from education records... Under FERPA, a school may not generally disclose personally identifiable information from an eligible student's education records to a third party unless the eligible student has provided written consent."

"Postsecondary institutions may disclose the final results of disciplinary proceedings if the institution has found that the student has violated the institution's rules or policies in regards to a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense. Furthermore, the institution may not disclose the name of any other student, including a victim or witness, without the prior written consent of that student."

U.S. Department of Education

Last Updated 9/22/22