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Editorial Styleguide

FERPA

FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a federal law applying to educational agencies and institutions that receive funding under a program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Under FERPA, schools must generally afford students who are aged 18 or over, or are attending a postsecondary institution, access to their education records, an opportunity to seek to have the records amended and some control over the disclosure of information from the records. At UofL, responsibility for authorizing the release of student information rests with the director of the University Archives and Records Center http://library.louisville.edu/uarc/stupriv.htm.

Briefly, the FERPA rules governing the disclosure of education records say that a school must:

  • have a student's consent prior to the disclosure of education records
  • ensure that the consent is signed and dated and states the purpose of the disclosure

A school may disclose education records without consent when:

  • the disclosure is to school officials who have been determined to have legitimate educational interests as set forth in the institution's annual notification of rights to students
  • the student is seeking or intending to enroll in another school
  • the disclosure is to state or local educational authorities auditing or enforcing federal- or state-supported education programs or enforcing federal laws that relate to those programs
  • the disclosure is to the parents of a student who is a dependent for income tax purposes
  • the disclosure is in connection with determining eligibility, amounts and terms for financial aid or enforcing the terms and conditions of financial aid
  • the disclosure is pursuant to a lawfully issued court order or subpoena
  • the information disclosed has been appropriately designated as directory information by the school

For full details, visit FERPA’s Web site at: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OM/fpco/ferpa.


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