FERPA: What Businesses Need to Know

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA applies to all educational institutions that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education, including public schools, colleges, and universities.

FERPA gives parents and eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include the right to:

  • Inspect and review the student’s education mynewpinkbutton.com 
  • Request that the school correct inaccurate or misleading information in the records
  • Control the disclosure of information from the records

FERPA also applies to businesses that contract with educational institutions to provide services to students. For example, if a business provides educational software to a school, that business is considered a “school official” under FERPA and must comply with the law.

Businesses that need to access student education records in order to provide services must obtain written consent from the parent or eligible student. Businesses must also keep student education records confidential and only use them for the purposes for which they were obtained.

Here are a few tips for businesses on how to comply with FERPA:

  • Only access student education records with written consent from the parent or eligible student
  • Use student education records only for the purposes for which they were obtained
  • Keep student education records confidential
  • Destroy student education records when they are no longer needed

Businesses that violate FERPA may face fines and other penalties.

In addition to the above tips, businesses should also be aware of the following FERPA requirements:

  • Businesses must provide parents and eligible students with notice of their FERPA rights. This notice must be provided annually and must be written in a clear and concise manner.
  • Businesses must allow parents and eligible students to access their education records within a reasonable time period.
  • Businesses must allow parents and eligible students to amend their education records if they believe the records are inaccurate or misleading.
  • Businesses must destroy student education records when they are no longer needed.


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