The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), 20 USC § 1232g, and its regulations at 34 CFR Part 99 protect the privacy of student education records. FERPA gives parents and adult students the right to access education records, request corrections of records believed to be inaccurate or misleading, and limit the disclosure of education records to third parties. Except in limited circumstances, schools must have written permission from a parent or eligible student to share any information from a student’s education record.

What Information does FERPA Protect?

FERPA protects the privacy of written “education records” that are directly related to a student and maintained by a school or a third-party vendor on behalf of the school. These education records may contain information about a student’s substance use disorder or mental health, including in the immunization and health records maintained by the school, or the health records created and maintained by a school’s nurse, mental health counselor, or other health professional.

Who must follow FERPA?

FERPA applies to any educational entity that receives federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education, regardless of what level of education it offers or whether it is a private or public institution.  Examples may include school districts, public schools, charter schools, some private schools, school districts, colleges, and universities.

For more information about FERPA and when it applies, please visit our Resource Library.