Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that was passed to protect the privacy of student educational records. The law requires that a school district, with certain exceptions, obtain written consent from the parent or eligible student* in order to release any information from a student's education record.

Certain FERPA exceptions permit school officials to disclose information, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:

  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies. **
  • School officials with legitimate educational interest.
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring.
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes.
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student.
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school.
  • Accrediting organizations.
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

* Eligible student means a student who has reached 18 years of age or is attending an institution of postsecondary education.

** In a health and safety emergency, exceptions are limited to the period of the emergency and generally does not allow for a blanket release of personally identifiable information from a student's education records. See 34 CFR § 99.31(a)(10) and § 99.36 of the FERPA regulations.

For additional information or technical assistance regarding FERPA, please contact: