Family Educational Right & Privacy Act (FERPA) at Idaho State University

General FERPA Information

Please note: The following is not intended to be a legal opinion from the university but is provided as an overview of relevant provisions. Unique factual circumstances may result in legal consequences that vary from any inference suggested from this summary.

FERPA, also known as the “Buckley Amendment,” is a federal law enacted in 1974 which affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. A general overview of the law is stated below.

Some of the exceptions to disclosing personally-identifiable information are not part of the law itself but are exceptions created through other laws.

Who has to comply with FERPA?

Educational institutions (schools or other entities that provide educational services and are attended by students) and educational agencies (entities that administer schools directly linked to them) that receive funds under any program administered by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

Who has FERPA rights at the post secondary level?

A student “in attendance” (regardless of age - even if under 18) and former students.

What are these rights?
What are records under FERPA?

Education records are defined as records that are directly related to a student and maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution.

Education records are not: sole possession records, law enforcement unit records, employment records, medical records, or post-attendance records.

What are the requirements of FERPA for colleges?
What are the exceptions that allow colleges to disclose "personally identifiable" information?

With prior consent of the student:

What Happens if a College Does Not comply with FERPA?

The Department of Education may issue a notice to cease the practice in question and could ultimately withhold funds administered by the Secretary of Education. However, as a practical matter, the Family Policy Compliance Office has never withheld funds because voluntary compliance has always been secured.