The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) 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. Since Lynn University receives federal funding, it is required to comply with all aspects of the law. Generally, schools must have written permission from the eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record; however, students have the ability to sign a FERPA form, which allows University employees to share information with parents or those listed on the form. Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them.
Although the rights under FERPA have now transferred to the student, a school may disclose information from an “eligible student’s” education records to the parents of the student, without the student’s consent, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes. Neither the age of the student nor the parent’s status as a custodial parent is relevant. If a student that is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then either parent may have access under this provision.
University officials handling Educational Record information at Lynn are required to take a FERPA training course, to assist with compliance of the law. Courts have found that no private right of action against an educational institution can occur as a result of a violation of FERPA; however, a violation can result in the loss of federal financial aid for the University.
The rights under FERPA transfer from the parent to the student, once the student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age. The student has the right to do the following.
1. To inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days, after the day Lynn University receives a written request for access.
2. To request an amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s right to privacy under FERPA.
3. To provide written consent before Lynn University discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except where FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent