Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Policy and Procedure FERPA

  • Applies to all institutions receiving federal funds under any program administered by the Secretary of Education
  • Gives parents and eligible students the right the access and see to amend their students’ education records
  • Protects Personal Identifiable Information (PII) from education records from unauthorized disclosure
  • Requires written consent before sharing PII – unless an exception applies FERPA Financial Aid Exception: Under FERPA’s Financial Aid Exception, institutions may disclose, without prior written consent, PII from student education records in connection with financial aid for which a student has applied for which a student has received, if the information is necessary to:
    1. Determine the student’s eligibility for the aid
    2. Determine the amount of the aid
    3. Determine the conditions for the aid
    4. Enforce the terms and conditions of the aid Fort Valley State University is covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974.

FERPA 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 gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Under this Act, students have the right to:

  1. inspect and review education records maintained by the institution that pertain to them,
  2. challenge the content of records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading or a violation of their privacy or other rights
  3. control disclosures from their education records with certain exceptions

FERPA School Official Exception PII may only be disclosed from education records without consent to other school officials with a legitimate educational interest within the institution, or to third parties acting as school officials, if they:

  • Perform an institutional service or foundation for which the agency or institution would otherwise use employees;
  • Are under the direct control of the agency or institution with respect to the use and maintenance of education records;
  • Only use PII from education records for the purposes for which the disclosure was made
  • Meet the criteria specified in the institution’s annual notification of FERPA rights.

The Office of Financial Aid takes the privacy of our student’s data very seriously. When working with students and families, we take the proper steps to ensure we are protecting the student’s information. We request the student ID number or a picture of their student ID when reviewing the students’ account. If someone other than the student comes into the office, emails or calls, we will verify that the student has signed a consent to release information in SPACMNT to the person making the request. FERPA Release forms are housed and processed through the Office of the Registrar. If we do not see a consent form, we will proceed to get consent from the student via phone and verify the student’s information (ID, Name, Address and last four digits of SSN). We then notate RHACOMM that we received consent for that one time only. If we cannot get consent, then no information is shared with the requestor.