NC-ACCESS Guide to FERPA

Also known as the Buckley Amendment, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is the federal law controlling the access to and sharing of educational records. FERPA rights are granted to parents until their son/daughter reaches the age of 18 or begins attending college (regardless of age). A student’s FERPA rights continue after the student leaves the college.

Within this site, you will find:

  • Answers to frequently asked questions about FERPA,
  • A description of the changes made to FERPA in 2009,
  • Clarification of rules regarding FERPA implementation during campus emergencies,
  • A glossary of updated FERPA terms, and
  • Links to additional resources.

Quick FERPA Tips for Faculty

Faculty should not:

  • Post a list of grades by name, SSN or student ID number,
  • Leave graded tests in a stack for students to sort through,.
  • Circulate a printed class list with the Student Name and SSN/Student ID,
  • Provide anyone with student schedules,
  • Provide anyone with lists of students enrolled in your classes, and
  • Include confidential information (i.e. grades, GPA, number of credits) in a recommendation letter without the written consent of the student.

Faculty should:

  • Post grades by code number known only to the instructor and the student, and
  • List grades randomly, not in alphabetical order.

To Safeguard Records:

  • Do not leave student records viewable on a computer screen that is unattended,
  • Shred documents containing SSN, and
  • Remember that a student may opt out of releasing his/her information, generally by signing a form preventing its release. Always check to see if a student has restricted access to information before giving information to a third party.