The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Education records are directly related to a student and maintained by an institution. Education records may exist in any medium (i.e., electronic or digital files including email, paper documents, fax documents, oral conversations, etc.). Refer to the CUNY Student Records Access Policy and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives students certain rights with respect to their “Education Records.”
A student’s affirmative consent is generally required to disclose personally identifiable information (“PII”) contained in a student’s Education Records to a third person. (The procedure for providing affirmative consent to have particular information shared with certain individual(s) is set out below.) Not all student records are, however, included in the definition of “Education Records” protected by FERPA. See below for a list of student records that are not “Education Records.” For instance, certain law enforcement unit, employment, health care provider, and parent’s financial records are not “Education Records.”
In addition, FERPA permits, and sometimes requires, the disclosure of PII from students’ Education Records without a student’s consent if the disclosure meets certain conditions.
One such exception is “Directory Information” which is specific limited information contained in Education Records. See below for a list of Directory Information. The disclosure of this information is not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy under FERPA. Unless a student affirmatively requests that such information not be shared, it may be disclosed by the college to third parties with a legitimate interest in the information. (The procedure for affirmatively directing that Directory Information not be shared, unless another applicable FERPA exception applies, is set out below.)
Another exception to the affirmative consent requirement is disclosure to “School Officials” with a legitimate educational interest in the record. See below for a description of those included as “School Officials.” It should be noted that students may not block release of their names, identifiers or email addresses in classes in which the students are enrolled, and may not refuse to display student ID cards or badges.
Other exceptions include disclosure in connection with a health or safety emergency, and disclosure of de-identified records and information where the student is not personally identifiable. See below for additional categories of records that are exceptions to the affirmative consent requirement.
The FERPA rights of students are: Read More