Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop


FERPA for Parents and Students

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) 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, in higher education, deals specifically with the education records of students who reach the age of 18 or who attend a post-secondary institution, affording them certain rights with respect to those records. Institutions may grant a student more rights than those guaranteed in the Act.

FERPA applies to students who are or have been in attendance, including those in cooperative and correspondence study.

Primary Rights Afforded to Students By FERPA:

  • Right to inspect and review the education records
  • Right to seek to have the records amended
  • Right to have some control over the disclosure of information from the records. Institutions may not disclose information contained in education records without the student's written consent, except under conditions specified in the Act (those items determined by the institution to be "directory information").
  • Right to file complaints with:

    U.S. Department of Education
    Family Compliance Office
    600 Independence Ave SW
    Washington, DC 20202

FERPA allows school to disclose information, without the student's consent, to the following parties:

  • School Officials - members of an institution who act in the student's educational interest within the limitations of their need to know in order to perform their professional responsibilities. May include faculty, administration, clerical and professional employees, students serving on an official committee, a person or company with whom the college has contracted, and other persons who manage student education record information (including law enforcement personnel and health staff).
  • Other state or federal agencies as defined by the Act

Notification of Directory Information

Under the provisions of FERPA, directory information is considered public information and, as such, may be made available through the approval of the Registrar and, when appropriate, other college officials, to third parties unless the student requests to be excluded from such published information. Students who do not wish to have directory information made public, must notify the Registrar in writing by the third day of classes in any full semester.

Directory information may include your name, parents' names, local and home address, local and home telephone numbers, email address, major field of study, class year, dates of attendance, degrees, class rank to be used in determining eligibility for honors and awards, information related to participation in officially recognized activities and sports, activities, intercollegiate athletic participation, other appropriate recognition, and educational agencies and institutions attended by the student.

Annual Notification of Rights under FERPA