Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA)

This section houses all guidance documents, training materials, policy letters and other resources directly related to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  The FERPA regulations can be found here.

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.  

Guidance and Best Practices

Technical Assistance on Student Privacy for State and Local Educational Agencies When Administering College Admissions Examinations

The administration of college admissions examinations by SEAs and LEAs raises potential legal issues under FERPA, IDEA, PPRA, and State privacy laws, and generally raises concerns about privacy best practices. In particular, the pre-test surveys administered in connection with these exams raised privacy concerns that SEAs and LEAs must consider when contracting with the testing companies. This document discusses the legal issues, and advises SEAs and LEAs about how to remain in compliance when administering the tests. The document also conveys best practice recommendations to encourage transparency and parental involvement.

Guidance and Best Practices

FERPA and Virtual Learning during COVID-19

Webinar slides for "FERPA and Virtual Learning during the COVID-19" presentation.  This webinar is intended to provide information on privacy best practices and insight into helpful resources available to the education community during this critical time of national emergency. 

We will address commonly asked questions related to the challenges of complying with student privacy laws like FERPA during this time and present a series of scenarios which highlight privacy best practices and considerations when adopting distance learning approaches.

Guidance and Best Practices

Data Breach Scenario Trainings

The Data Breach Scenario Trainings are a series of packaged trainings developed by the Privacy Technical Assistance Center, designed to help educational organizations at all levels conduct internal staff development on data breaches. Each scenario has been developed into a training package, providing ready-to-use resources for the scenario leader(s) and participants.