The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) deals specifically with the education records of students, affording them certain rights with respect to those records. For purposes of definition, education records are those records which are 1) directly related to a student and 2) maintained by an institution or a party acting for the institution.
FERPA gives students who reach the age of 18, or who attend a postsecondary institution, the right to inspect and review their own education records. Furthermore, students have other rights including the right to request amendment of records and to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from these records.
FERPA applies to all educational agencies and institutions that receive funding under most programs administered by the Secretary of Education (34 C.F.R. 99.1). Almost all postsecondary institutions, both public and private, generally receive such funding and must, therefore, comply with FERPA.
Under FERPA, students are given three primary rights. They have the right to:
- inspect and review their education records;
- have some control over the disclosure of information from their education records; and
- seek to amend incorrect education records.