Family Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) Law and Legal Definition
The Family Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that governs the release of a student’s educational records, including personal identifiable information (name, address, social security number, etc.) from those records. FERPA gives students who reach the age of 18 or who attend a postsecondary institution the right to inspect and review their own educational records. Other rights are granted, including the student's right to request amendment of records and to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from these records.
FERPA does not apply to records containing information gathered after a student has graduated or otherwise left the University. As a general rule, it also does not cover individuals who have applied but were not admitted or who were admitted but did not enroll. The student must give permission for records to be released unless the employee demonstrates a legitimate educational interest consistent with his or her official function for the school and consistent with usual professional and legal practices. FERPA specifies limited circumstances under which information in a student's records can be released without the student's prior written permission.