Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA and ACC

The following statement concerning student records maintained by the Austin Community College District is published in compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

The release of information to the public without the consent of the student will be limited to that designated as directory information. The Austin Community College District has designated the following information as directory information:

  • Name, address, telephone number
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Participation in activities
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees, certificates, and awards
  • Name of the previous educational institution attended
  • Student classification and enrollment status

Any student objecting to the release of all or any portion of such information must notify Admissions and Records within the first 12 class days of the semester. The restriction will remain in effect until revoked by the student.

What are a student's rights under FERPA? 

  • 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 eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
  • Students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the 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 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:
    • 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
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law

What are a parent’s rights under FERPA? 
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.

For more information please visit the Department of Education's FERPA Information Area.

Related

Student Proxy Authorization Form