The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment, helps protect the privacy of student education records. The Act provides for the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend those records, and the right to limit disclosure of information from the records. The intent of the legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of education records. The Act applies to all institutions that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

Who is protected under FERPA?

Students who are currently or formerly enrolled, regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependency, are protected.

What are educational records under FERPA?

With certain exceptions, educational records are defined as any record directly related to a student from which a student can be personally identified, and is maintained by an education agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution.

Educational records may include:

  • Transcripts
  • Grades
  • Student schedules
  • Student disciplinary records
  • Social Security numbers
  • Ethnic backgrounds

Educational records do not include:

  • Sole-possession records (private notes of a school official that are not accessible or released to other personnel)
  • Law enforcement or campus security records
  • Employment records
  • Medical records
  • Post-attendance (alumnae) records

For more information, see the following resources: