A: That's a good quesiton -- one we hear frequently in Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution Services. In order to help us help you, please take a moment to review the information below. It will give you a better understanding of the federally mandated protection for your student, and in so doing, explain why, when you may want information, we cannot always provide it for you.
Q: What is FERPA?
A: FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the "Buckley Amendment." As the U.S. Department of Education notes, "The FERPA is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of a student's education records. The law applies to all schools which receive funds under applicable program from the U.S. Department of Education." Essentially, any institution which receives federal financial aid funds must comply with FERPA.
Q: Do my parents have a right to access my Student Conduct files?
A: "The FERPA gives certain rights to parents regarding their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student or former student who has reached the age of 18 or is attending any school beyond the high school level."
To the Parents: In other words, once your son or daughter comes to AU, he or she is automatically protected by the FERPA legislation. This is a positive safeguard that is intended to protect your student. While it does protect your student, the FERPA also prohibits the university from releasing information about his or her record to you.
American University complies fully with the FERPA. Information about confidentiality of students records is published in the Student Handbook, which is accessible through print and on-line means. The latter can be seen at Student Handbook on page 57 of the PDF document.
For further information about FERPA, please contact: