Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99), FERPA, also know as the Buckley Amendment, 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 US Department of Education.

Under FERPA, a student is any individual who is or has been in attendance at school for whom the school maintains an educational record.

Under FEPRA, an educational record is any record that is maintained by the school or its agent and that is directly related to a student.

Under FERPA, personally identifiable information includes items such as the student's name, names of family members, addresses, personal identifiers such as social security numbers, and personal characteristics or other information that make the student's identity easily traceable.

Under FERPA, student rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the State educational agency (SEA) receives a request for access.
  2. The right to request the amendment of an element of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s privacy rights.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the university discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the university to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Under FERPA, directory information may be disclosed without the student's permission. UT Austin directory information includes:

  1. Student's name
  2. Local, permanent, and email addresses
  3. UT eid public username
  4. Telephone listing
  5. Place of birth
  6. Major fields of study
  7. Dates of attendance
  8. Enrollment status
  9. Degrees, awards, and honors received, including selection criteria
  10. Most recently attended previous educational institution
  11. Classification
  12. Expected graduation date
  13. Participation in officially-recognized activities and sports
  14. Weight and height, if a member of an athletic team
  15. Student parking permit information
  16. Job title and dates of employment when employed by the university in a position that requires student status

UT Austin notifies students annually of their FERPA rights in Appendix C, Chapter 9, of the General Information catalog.