Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is an act regulating access to educational records by public structures such as educational institutions, employers, and foreign governments.


FERPA is a law that was established and introduced by James L. Buckley in 1974 in the United States. This act presupposes the protection of the secrecy of students’ records concerning education. The law gives rights to the parents to access their children’s educational information. These rights are transmitted to the student when they reach the age of 18 so that they become “eligible.”

Eligible students and parents have a right to review educational records stored by school. Schools, in turn, do not have a right to send out copies of such records unless there are such circumstances as great distance taking a fee for a dispatched copy. Moreover, eligible students and parents are endowed to insert corrections into the records if they are not precise or misleading. If the amendment is denied, there is a chance for an applicant to take part in a public hearing where the school decides the possibility of editing the record.

When it comes to the disclosure of the contents of the record, the school must demand written permission of the record owner. The school can reveal the “directory” information including full name, phone number, address, date of birth, rewards of one student asking the permission from information holders beforehand. However, the law allows disclosing some information without the consent of representatives when school officials, local authorities, accrediting organizations demand records.

The educational institution must notify eligible students and parents about FERPA to keep their rights reserved. Any school is up to choose its way of notification.