The 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law (20 U.S.C. 1232g) that protects the privacy of a student’s educational record. FERPA applies to all educational institutions receiving funds from the United States Department of Education, from kindergarten through university level.
At the University of Florida, the privacy of academic records is also protected by Florida Statute Section 1002.22 (2007).
The U.S. Department of Education summarizes the rights afforded to students by FERPA as follows:
FERPA requires universities to provide students with annual notification of these rights. UF's annual notification appears in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs. Students who suspect that a FERPA violation has occurred, should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs (155 Tigert Hall; 352-392-1265) or they can contact the Family Policy Compliance Office within the U.S. Department of Education.
An education record is any record directly related to a student that is maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting for the agency or institution.
Examples of an academic record include, but are not limited to:
Academic records do not include:
Personally identifiable information is any information — directory and nondirectory information — easily traced to the student, and may include name, name of parents or family members, address, social security or UFID number, a list of personal characteristics or any other information that clearly distinguishes the student’s identity.
Directory information is the information available about a student that is not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. While FERPA and state law protect the privacy of educational records, directory information is not treated as confidential and may be disclosed by the university without student consent unless the student requests a privacy hold. At UF, the following has been designated as directory information:
Nondirectory information refers to information that generally cannot be released without the student's consent. This includes: