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FERPA Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

What is it? FERPA was enacted in 1974 to protect the rights of students in terms of their educational records. When a student turns 18 or enters a college or university, all parental rights are transferred to the student.

plainly put...

Even though parents may be footing the tuition bill, they don’t have access to educational records.

What are educational records?

grades, transcripts and test scores This means a professor can not share details about your student’s papers, projects or grades.

no more parent/teacher conferences?! :)

financial records and financial aid If someone else is paying tuition, students may make this person an authorized payer on the account. Using your student’s login and password is still a violation of FERPA.

click here to do it right!

Disciplinary Records Most other infractions are protected under FERPA, including...

• attendance • damage reports

• computer misuse

• theft

• roommate conflicts

• noise complaints

Health Services and Counseling Records In addition to HIPAA laws, all medical visits are also protected by FERPA.

There are exceptions to every rule... Students can submit

this form in order to allow for the release of information to certain people.



Institutions of higher education like CMU appreciate and welcome the engagement of supporting family members during the college years. Working within the legal requirements of FERPA, faculty and staff support the rights and developing sense of responsibility among students. We consistently encourage students to share information with their parents and include them in key decisions and situations.

- Jason Bentley, Director of First-Year Experience

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questions or concerns?


Understanding FERPA  

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act can be confusing to both students and parents. Check out this publication for more information...