The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law protecting the privacy of student educational records. Under FERPA, students who are either (a) 18 or older or (b) who attend a school beyond the high school level have certain rights over information in their educational record. Parents do not automatically have FERPA rights to access information on students who meet either of those requirements; however, they may provide documentation that the student is a dependent in order to access their student’s records.
Educational records encompass all information that is
- Directly related to a student;
- Maintained by an institution or a party acting for the institution;
- In any medium.
FERPA applies to students who are accepted and attend an institution, and it permits the institution to disclose directory information.