What Is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 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.

Does FERPA give a parent the right to see the education record of their child?

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.
Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

What information can be shared without permission?

Directory information, as defined by FERPA, is “information contained in a student’s education record that generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.”  A school can share this information with anyone without consent if the student has not invoked the right of non-disclosure of directory information.
FERPA, financial records, and conduct records. FERPA does not apply to directory information which includes:

  • Name
  • Current address
  • Major
  • Dates of attendance
  • Enrollment
  • Degree and date received
  • Previous education institution attended
  • Eligibility and participation in officially recognized activities and sports

What if student changes their mind and now want to share directory information?

Restricting directory information can cause problems for new TSC graduates.  If a student’s directory information is restricted, TSC cannot verify the student’s degree, certificate or enrollment to potential employers who request information.

Students can update their directory information consent by submitting an Information Release Restriction Form:

  • Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Mail:
    Attn: Admissions and Records
    80 Fort Brown
    Brownsville, TX 78520
  • In-Person:
    Admissions and Records Office

What information is never shared without permissions?

Non-directory information is never released without the student’s official authorization.  These items include but are not limited to:

  • Enrollment verification
  • Grade point average (GPA)
  • Academic standing
  • Grades or transcripts

What is a student’s right under FERPA?

Student rights under FERPA can be found in the College’s Annual Notification of Rights Under FERPA

What is a waiver of academic privacy?

Students must submit the FERPA Waiver of Privacy before the College will release the student’s academic record to any third-party.

What if the student is enrolled in Dual Credit/Early College High School?

In a situation where a student is enrolled in both a high school and at TSC via a Dual Credit or Early College High School Program, the two schools may exchange information on that student.  If the student is under 18, the parent/guardian still retains the rights under FERPA at the high school and may inspect and review any records sent by TSC to the high school.

How Do I Learn More About FERPA?

For more information contact the Texas Southmost College Office of Admissions & Records or visit the US Department of Education website.


Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2019 11:27