WHAT IS FERPA (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act)?

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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (also sometimes referred to as the Buckley Amendment), is a federal law regarding the privacy of student records and the obligations of the institution, primarily in the areas of release of the records and the access provided to these records. Any educational institution that receives funds under any program administered by the U.S. Secretary of Education is bound by FERPA requirements. Institutions that fail to comply with FERPA may have funds administered by the Secretary of Education withheld.

What does this mean to you? When a student turns 18 years old, or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student. Parents no longer have a right to their students’ records without written permission from the student. (e.g. roommate conflicts, disciplinary hearings/sanctions).

We highly encourage students to be actively involved and understand their responsibilities regarding their housing license agreement (contract) and payment obligations. We also encourage students and parents/ guardians to thoroughly discuss housing information, contract and payment schedule. If questions arise, students are welcome to contact the Housing Office.

Please note that due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), we are not able to discuss a student’s housing record with anyone other than the student. If students wish to allow Housing personnel to discuss their confidential information as protected under FERPA regulations with another individual such as a parent/guardian, there must be a signed Housing FERPA waiver on file with the University Housing Services Office designating the individual(s) to whom information can be released. Waivers will be valid for that academic year only. New waivers must be filed with the Housing Office for each academic year the student resides on-campus. These waivers can be revoked by the student at any time. Housing FERPA waiver forms are available from the University Housing Services Office or through our website.