What is FERPA?

FERPA, shorthand for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, was enacted by Congress in 1974 [20 U.S.C. 1232g].   This legislation gives parents of minor students, and students who are over 18, the right to inspect, correct, amend, and control the disclosure of information in education records. It obliges educational institutions to inform parents and students of their rights, and to establish policies and procedures through which their rights can be exercised. 

FERPA gives students of any age enrolled in a university or college the right to give or withhold consent for the educational institution to use or disclose personal information about them.  There are a number of exceptions to this general right. The main one is that institutions may use student information for legitimate business purposes. Requests to use or disclose UC Berkeley student information are approved by the Registrar who is the authorized data steward for all student information.