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FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

FERPA applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. View this information on the DOE Website.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

  • Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
  • Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records that they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
  • Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
    • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
    • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    • Accrediting organizations;
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information. Provisions of the act classify the following as ‘‘directory information’’ that may be released to the public upon request, unless the student has specifically requested that all of the information not be released.

The college defines the following as directory information:

  • name of student
  • date of registered attendance
  • major field of study
  • dates of degrees and awards received
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • weight and height of members of athletic teams

Students wishing to change the status for the dissemination or non-dissemination of “directory information” without prior consent may submit either of the forms listed below to the Office of Enrollment Services stating which preference they choose. All other information not listed above that relates directly to the student cannot be released without the student’s written permission.

When you submit an application for admissions or send application materials (such as test scores, transcripts or letters of recommendation), these items become a part of your student record at the College of Central Florida. Your student record is covered under FERPA, which means that your information is private and can only be shared with people who have authorization.

FERPA Authorization Process

If you are a student and want to authorize someone to access your records, please complete a FERPA authorization form. Authorization can be changed or cancelled anytime by submitting a new form.

If you wish to completely opt out of sharing directory information, you can complete the Request for Nondisclosure of Directory Information. Please be aware that by submitting this form, all future enrollment services transactions must be completed in person, and a picture id will be required.

The college registrar can provide additional information on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment).

For additional information, you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) (voice). Individuals who use TDD may use the Federal Relay Service.

 

Or you may contact them at the following address:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can I give FERPA authorization to?
Most students use FERPA authorization for their parents, guardians, spouses, or other advocates who play an important role in their educational journey. Keep in mind that your record contains sensitive information and you should select someone you trust with your personal information.

My parents have questions about my application. Can they call the Admissions Office for me?
Without your FERPA authorization, the Admissions Office can only answer general questions about the admissions process but cannot give specific details about your application. This means that staff cannot confirm if they have received your application or documents you have submitted, such as transcripts.

If your parent comes into the Enrollment Service Center, and they are covered with FERPA authorization, then staff members can give more detailed information about the records you have authorized them to review.

How long is the FERPA authorization valid for?
Once you have authorized someone to have access to your record, the access will remain active until you change the authorization, or when you are no longer an active student. To discontinue someone’s access, complete another authorization form.

What if I want my parents to have access to information for admissions, but I don’t want them to see my grades?
Use the FERPA authorization form to customize the information you want to grant access to. On the form you can select which parts of your record you want covered in the FERPA authorization.