By Audience: Researchers

The resources on this page are intended for researchers, or any other party conducting research using FERPA-protected information. Resources here focus on proper disclosure avoidance techniques and proper methods for de-identification and suppression of Students’ Personally Identifiable Information from education records.

Guidance and Best Practices

Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of FERPA Enforcement

The Department is committed to protecting student privacy. To provide more timely and effective assistance to parents and students and to address a recommendation made by the Department’s Office of the Inspector General to “implement a risk-based approach to processing and resolving FERPA complaints,”  the Department is modifying its investigatory practices to more efficiently address and resolve complaints and violations under FERPA.  

Letters

Response to Technical Assistance Request from Suffolk University

The U.S Department of Education has issued this guidance letter in response to a technical assistance request from Suffolk University.  In their request, representatives from the University sought guidance on the use of the Department’s National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for research and evaluation purposes, to study student loan servicing and borrower default and delinquency of Suffolk’s students and graduates.

Guidance Videos

The A-B-C's of Student Directory Information

FERPA allows schools and districts to designate certain basic student information as directory information, and share that information without consent if certain additional requirements are met. This video describes why a school would want to use designated student directory information and the types of information that fall into this category. It also explains the process that schools and districts must adhere to when designating directory information.

Letters

SPPO response to Louisiana on Enrollment Data and Disclosure Avoidance

Letter to the Louisiana State Superintendent of Education answering questions relating to protecting student privacy in public reporting.  The document addresses the U.S. Department of Education’s practices and recommendations to States on how to protect privacy when publicly reporting enrollment data.