FERPA Federal Regulations
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’s education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. What is FERPA?
The following questions and answers are intended to help you understand your rights as a parent under FERPA. If you have further questions, please contact the U.S. Department of Education's Family Policy Compliance Office using the contact information provided below.
Disclosure to Parents
When a student turns enters a postsecondary institution at any age, all rights afforded to parents under FERPA transfer to the student. However, due to FERPA, the school cannot share information with parents without the student's consent. For example:
- 1 - Schools may not disclose education records to parents if the student is a dependent for income tax purposes.
- 2 - Schools may not disclose education records to parents if a health or safety emergency involves their son or daughter.
- 3 - Schools may not inform parents if the student who is under age 21 has violated any law or its policy concerning the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
- 4 - A school official may not generally share with a parent information that is based on that official's personal knowledge or observation of the student.
FERPA and ADA Title III Federal Regulations
These Federal Laws address the needs of the disabled individual. They are created in a generic mood, for each state to appropriately apply each law according to their needs, ie:
* State Regulations: must reflect the Federal laws
ADA Title III: Privacy Act: To maintain privacy information of the disabled student that is being served.
Confidentiality Issues: Only refers to those individuals or organizations that are not involved in the support services, and are seeking information regarding students with disabilities. For any information to be passed on regarding a student, the student must sign a wavier of consent prior to the act. However, any person that is working with the student can receive information without the wavier on the particular student in order to provide better services to that student.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Accommodations & Supportive Services for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities
In 1973, Congress passed Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), a law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of physical or mental disability (29 U.S.C. Section 794). It states:
- * No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance . . . .
The Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education enforces regulations implementing Section 504 with respect to programs and activities that receive funding from the Department. The Section 504 regulation applies to all recipients of this funding, including colleges, universities, and postsecondary vocational education and adult education programs. Failure by these higher education schools to provide auxiliary aids to students with disabilities that results in a denial of a program benefit is discriminatory and prohibited by Section 504.
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits state and local governments from discriminating on the basis of disability. The Department enforces Title II in public colleges, universities, and graduate and professional schools. The requirements regarding the provision of auxiliary aids and services in higher education institutions described in the Section 504 regulation are generally included in the general nondiscrimination provisions of the Title II Regulation.
Office of Special Services for Students with Disabilities
Office: Frese Hall, room 111
Telephone: 718-997-5870 / Fax: 718-997-5895