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 Videos

School Volunteers and FERPA

Volunteers are important in helping schools operate efficiently, but it’s important to know your role in protecting student information while helping out in your school. This video explains some of a school volunteer’s responsibilities to help keep the student information they work with private and secure. The Privacy Technical Assistance Center has also released a corresponding brochure that schools can use to help train their volunteers with their legal responsibilities to protect student data. This brochure can be found here.

Guidance Videos

Email and Student Privacy

Email is an easy way to communicate with students and parents. Prior to sending an email, it’s important to evaluate the risk associated with sending student information and recognizing if it is personally identifiable information (PII). This video walks you through best practices on how to email student information.

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.

Letters

Dear Colleague Letter to School Officials at Institutions of Higher Education

Institutions of higher education have a strong interest in ensuring that students have uncompromised access to the support they need, without fear that the information they share will be disclosed inappropriately. Providing on-campus access to medical services, including mental health services, can help promote a safe and healthy campus. The practice of sharing a student’s sensitive medical records with others not involved in their treatment may discourage the use of medical services provided on campus.  The U.S.

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

OCPO 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.