The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, is “a federal law designed to protect the privacy of education records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading data through informal and formal hearings.”
The Act applies to students enrolled in higher education institutions as well as K–12 students. When a student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, all rights afforded to you as a parent under FERPA transfer to the student. The Act states:
- College students must be permitted to inspect their own education records
- Institutions may not disclose information about students nor permit inspection of their records without consent unless such action is covered by certain exceptions permitted by FERPA. Some of those exceptions specifically related to disclosure of information to parents without student consent are as follows:
- Schools may disclose education records to parents if the student is claimed as a dependent for tax purposes.
- Schools may disclose education records to parents if a health or safety emergency involves their son or daughter.
- Schools may inform parents if the student, if he or she is under age 21, has violated any law or policy concerning the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
- A school official may generally share with a parent information that is based on that official's personal knowledge or observation of the student.
In addition to these exceptions, disclosure of student information to parents can also occur if the student provides written permission through Rider's "Consent to Disclose Educational Records" form. Download a copy of the Rider University Consent to Disclose Educational Records form.
Read the Rider University statement on Protection of Personal Privacy as outlined in “The Source”.
Read the Educause article in Educause Review: "Is Your Use of Social Media FERPA Compliant?"