In 1974, Congress enacted the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also referred to as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA) to guarantee matriculated students at postsecondary institutions certain rights with respect to their educational records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
A FERPA-related college education record begins for a student when he or she enrolls in a higher education institution. At a postsecondary institution, rights belong to the student in attendance, regardless of the student's age.
Students have four basic rights under FERPA, which include:
- To be notified of their FERPA rights at least annually.
- To inspect and review their records.
- To amend an incorrect record.
- To consent to disclosure (with exceptions).
A school may disclose, without consent, "directory information," such as a student's name, address, telephone number, birthday, honors and awards, and dates of attendance.