Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
FERPA helps protect the privacy of student education rights. The act provides three basic rights:
- The right to inspect and review the education relating to the student maintained by the schools the student attends
- The right to challenge and require the schools to amend any portion of the education records concerning the student that is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights
- The right to require the school to obtain written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information, except in those instances specifically noted in the statute
The act applies to all institutions that are recipients of federal and administered by the Secretary of Education.
Who is protected under FERPA?
- Students, who are currently or formerly enrolled, regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependency, are protected.
- Students who have applied or not attended are not protected under FERPA guidelines
What are education records?
- With certain exceptions, an education record is any record (1) from which a student can be personally identified and (2) is maintained by the college. Education records include any records in whatever medium (email, handwritten note, etc) that is in the possession of any school official
What is Directory Information?
At GCC, directory information is the following:
- Student’s name
- Student’s major
- Dates of Attendance
- Graduation date(s)
- Honors conferred
Can Parents Access to Children’s Education Records?
- Under FERPA, once a student reaches the age of 18 OR attends a school beyond the secondary level, they become an eligible student and all rights formerly given to parents are transferred to the student.
- At the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent right to access a student’s education record. The right of access in limited solely to the student, even if the student is under 18. Records may be released to parents ONLY under the following circumstances (1) through written consent of the student, (2) in compliance with a subpoena, or (3) by producing a copy of the most recent Federal Income Tax form showing that the student was claimed as a dependent.