Educational Rights and Privacy
Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment,
protects the privacy of student records. The Act provides for
the right to inspect and review education records, the right
to seek to amend those records, and to limit disclosure of information
from the records. The Act applies to all institutions that are
the recipients of federal funding.
Protected Under FERPA?
who are currently enrolled in higher education institutions
or formerly enrolled, regardless of their age or
status in regard to parental dependency. Students who have applied
but have not attended an institution do not have rights
certain exceptions, a student has rights of access to those
records which are directly related to him/her and which are
maintained by an educational institution or party authorized
to keep records for the institution. "Education Records"
generally include any records in the possession of the institution
which contain information directly related to a student,
with the exception of those addressed below. FERPA contains
no requirement that certain records be kept at all. This
is a matter of institutional policy and/or state regulation.
The records may be handwritten or in the form of print, computer,
magnetic tape, e-mail, film or some other medium. FERPA
coverage includes records, files, documents, and data directly
related to students. This would include transcripts or
other records obtained from a school in which a student
was previously enrolled.
Not Included In An Education Record?
records or private notes held by educational personnel which
are not accessible or released to other personnel
or campus security records which are solely for law enforcement
relating to an individual's employment by the institution
(unless employment is contingent on student status)
relating to treatment provided by a physician, psychiatrist,
psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional
and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment
of an institution which contain only information about an
individual obtained after that person is no longer a student
at that institution (i.e., alumni records)
Can Be Removed From An Education Record Before The Student Views
- any information
that pertains to another student or the financial records of the
confidential letters and statements of recommendation
may disclose information on a student without violating FERPA
through what is known as "directory information". This generally
includes a student's name, address, telephone number,
email, date and
place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially
recognized sports and activities, weight and height of athletes,
dates of attendance, degrees and awards received and other
similar information. Each institution is required to annually notify
students in attendance of what constitutes directory information.
This notice must also provide procedures for students to
restrict the institution from releasing his/her directory information.
Who Would Generally Be Permitted Access Without The Student's Written
officials who have "legitimate educational interests" as defined
in the College's annual FERPA notification parents of a
"dependent student" as defined by the Internal Revenue Code
of a judicial order or subpoena which allows the institution
to release records without the student's consent, however,
a "reasonable effort" must generally be made to notify the
student before complying with the order
parents of financially dependent children
of dependent students who request access to the records
of their student dependent age 18 or older, without the
studentís consent, must substantiate the dependent
status of the student as defined in Section 152 of the
Internal Revenue Code.
The College may disclose information to either parent,
regardless of which one claims the student as a
Parentsí access to student records under this exception
will be recorded in the record of disclosures.
When Do You Need Consent To Disclose Personally Identifiable
Information From An Education Record (Including Transcripts)?
specific exceptions (listed below), a signed and dated consent
by the student must be provided by the student before any disclosure
the records that may be disclosed state the purpose of disclosure
the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be
"Personally Identifiable Information"?
- the student's
name, name of the student's parent or other family members,
address of the student or student's family, or a personal identifier,
such as a social security number or student ID number
- a list
of personal characteristics that would make the student's
identity easily traceable
The Student's Consent Not Required To Disclose
faculty, staff, and administrators with a legitimate educational
interest (defined in the College's annual notification)
to parents of a "dependent student" to Federal, State and
local education authorities involving an audit or evaluation
of compliance with education programs in connection with processing
Financial Aid to organizations conducting studies for, or
on behalf of, educational institutions to accrediting organizations
to comply with judicial order or subpoena health or safety
emergency directory information to the student
of disciplinary hearing to an alleged victim of a crime of
to disclose should always be handled with caution and approached
on a case-by-case basis.
Increasing Technology Impact FERPA On Our Campuses?
principles of confidentiality must be applied to electronic
data as apply to paper documents.
guidelines are not intended to be legal advice. This document
provides only a summary of FERPA. For further information
regarding FERPA or clarification regarding FERPA, refer to the
act and regulations or contact the FERPA representative for
the College of Pittsburgh