By Audience: Postsecondary School Officials

The resources on this page are intended for staff and educators of Postsecondary Institutions.  Resources found here typically address FERPA’s requirements and how they apply to the various day-to-day operations of postsecondary institutions that may be different than the K-12 setting.  Guidance is also provided for the particular challenges encountered at the postsecondary level as it relates to the handling and protection of students’ Personally Identifiable Information.

Best Practices

May Schools Disclose Information about Cases of COVID-19?

Schools across the nation are working hard to keep students, teachers, and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many schools are wondering whether the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows them to disclose information about cases of COVID-19 to the community. The Student Privacy Policy Office provided answers to these questions in our March 2020 guidance. Subsequent to issuing the guidance, we have seen reports that states, cities, school districts, and schools are continuing to face questions about disclosing COVID-19 cases.

Guidance

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

Letter to Postsecondary Institutions about the American Community Survey (ACS)

Letter to institutions of postsecondary education regarding the applicability of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to the disclosure of certain personally identifiable information from student education records to representatives of the U. S. Census Bureau (Bureau) who are conducting Group Quarters (GQ) or group housing data collection for the American Community Survey (ACS). Unlike the decennial census, the ACS is an on-going monthly survey of a sample of housing units and GQs, but the guidance is consistent with census collections.