FERPA stands for the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This law protects the privacy of student education records from kindergarten through graduate school. FERPA applies to all schools that receive funds through an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education, and thus most postsecondary schools are covered by FERPA.
FERPA requires that education records be kept confidential. Records may be disclosed with the consent of the student, if the disclosure meets one of the statutory exemptions, or if the disclosure is directory information and the student has not placed a hold on release of directory information.
Students have a right of access to their records (but not necessarily the right to a copy of the record) and a right to request the correction of records that are inaccurate or misleading. If the school denies this request for correction of a record, the student may request a hearing.
Institutions must give students annual notice of their rights under this law. The statute defines the phrase "education record" broadly as "those records, files documents, and other materials which 1) contain information directly related to a student; and 2) are maintained by an educational institution. Digital records are covered by FERPA.
It is the responsibility of the entire institution to comply with this federal statute. If you have any questions on FERPA, please contact OAA or the Registrar.
Information taken in part with permission from Catholic University of America - http://counsel.cua.edu/ferpa/clicks/