Frequently asked questions


Below are some frequently asked questions that may not have been previously covered on this page.

  • Does the parent of a college student have rights under FERPA?
    No. Parents lose their FERPA rights when their child turns 18, or starts attending college or any post-secondary institution - whichever happens first. However, a student may give their parent the right to access his/her educational information by filling out a Release of Student Information form. These forms must be turned in by the student, with photo ID, to each individual office.
  • Do eligible student's FERPA rights ever expire?
    For the most part, no. As long as the educational institution maintains the student's education records, the eligible student retains the right to review or amend their education records, or consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information. Although, death does terminate FERPA rights of eligible students.
  • Is a high school student, who also attends college, an eligible student?
    Yes. If a student is attending a post-secondary institution - at any age - the rights under FERPA have transferred to the student. However, in a situation where a student is enrolled in both high school and college at the same time, the two schools may exchange information on that student. If the student is under 18, the parents still retain rights under FERPA at the high school and may inspect and review any records maintained by the high school.
  • Does an eligible student's spouse have FERPA rights when it comes to the student's education records?
    No. A spouse is an unrelated third party as far as FERPA is concerned. For example, if the student wanted the spouse present during an inspection and review of education records, the student would have to execute a written consent to allow spousal review.
  • Do non-citizen students have FERPA rights?
    Yes. FERPA rights apply to citizens and non-citizens alike. However, students studying under a visa may be required to consent to release of certain information to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • Must a document identify a student by name to be an education record?
    No. FERPA regulations make it clear that information can be considered "personally identifiable information" even without identification of the student by name.
  • Can an organization other than an educational institution create an education record?
    Yes. FERPA defines education records in terms of maintenance by educational institutions or agencies acting on their behalf. Nowhere in the statute of regulations does FERPA mandate that education records originate at educational institutions or agencies, although most do.
  • Are the employment records of students in attendance, who are employed by their college, education records?
    It depends on the characterization of the student's employment. Records relating to an individual in attendance at the institution, who is employed as a result of his/her status as a student, are education records. Likewise, employment that is not a result of the employee's status as an enrolled student are excepted from the definition of education records under FERPA.