FERPA applies to the education records of persons who are or have been in attendance in post-secondary institutions, including students in cooperative and correspondence study programs, video conference, satellite, internet or other electronic forms.

FERPA applies to students enrolled in higher education institutions as well as K–12 students. Under FERPA, these two groups are treated the same with one fundamental difference: WHO the rights are given to under the Act. If a student is a minor (e.g., under the age of eighteen) or a dependent, the parents or legal guardians are afforded the rights. On the other hand, the rights primarily reside with the student, regardless of age, once he or she is admitted or enrolls at an institution of higher education. Only when the student has signed a written release giving their parent(s) access to their record, or when an institution accepts proof from the parent that the student is a dependent, is an institution allowed to release information from the student’s education record to parents.

NFCC requires ALL students to sign a written release before private information is disclosed.

FERPA does not apply to records of applicants for admission who are not yet registered or to deceased students.

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