FERPA AT A GLANCE
FERPA stands for The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (a.k.a. FERPA or the Buckley Amendment). This is a federal law that was enacted in 1974.
- This law allows students access to their educational records. Students can inspect and review their records, and request to amend their records if they believe there is inaccurate information.
- FERPA prohibits the release of student records to outside parties. There are exceptions.
- One such exception is directory data. The law PERMITS Madison College to release directory information about a student without permission, unless the student places a FERPA hold. Directory information includes: name, major field of study, dates of attendance (term start/end date), enrollment status (full or part-time), degrees and awards received, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, email address.
- FERPA applies to all current and former students of the College.
- FERPA is regulated by the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. There is no private cause of action under FERPA. This means a person cannot sue if he or she believes there is a FERPA violation. The person must file a complaint with the US Department of Education for compliance.
These are NOT educational records under FERPA
- Sole possession records (personal notes for memory not emails sent to others)
- Madison College security records (i.e., not obtained from enrollment database but created by security)
- Employment records
- Medical records
- Post-attendance records
Samples of educational records protected by FERPA
- Test scores
- I.D. numbers or Social Security Numbers (including last 4 digits only)
- Financial records
- Disciplinary records
- Class schedule
When can a student’s educational records be released?
- The information is directory data and there is no FERPA hold
- The student authorizes the release in writing
- To administrators who have a legitimate educational interest (real need to know)
- To law enforcement and health officials in cases of a (1) health or safety emergency; and (2) specific approval by Carolyn Jarrett, Legal Counsel, or James Bottoni, Chief of Security
- To third party authorized representatives such as auditors and attorneys
- A lawfully issued subpoena with reasonable and prior notification to the student (exception is federal grand jury)