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ferpa (family educational rights and privacy act of 1974) FAQS

What is FERPA?

​FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is a federal law that pertains to the release of and access to educational records. The law, also known as the Buckley Amendment, applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the US Department of Education. Go to to learn more.

FERPA protects the privacy of student education records, including personally identifiable information derived from student conduct records. Generally, schools must have written permission from a student in order to release any information from a student's education record.

FERPA allows schools to disclose student records, without consent, in situations including, but not limited to:

  • school officials with legitimate educational interest,
  • other schools to which a student is transferring,
  • to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena,
  • to parents when there is a health or safety emergency involving the student,
  • to parents when the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance and the student is under 21 years of age at the time of the disclosure,
  • to the victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a nonforcible sex offense concerning the final results of a disciplinary Hearing.

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]

To which information does FERPA apply?

​FERPA applies to personally identifiable information in educational records. This includes items such as the student's name, names of family members, addresses, personal identifiers such as social security numbers, and personal characteristics or other information that make the student's identity easily traceable.

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]

What are a student's rights under FERPA?

Under FERPA, a student has a right to

  • inspect and review his or her educational records;
  • request to amend his or her educational records;
  • have some control over the disclosure of information from his or her educational records.

The university notifies students annually of their FERPA rights in the Student Handbook. If students believe that such rights have been violated, they may register a complaint with the Office of the Registrar, Room 103 West Hall or contact the Family Policy Compliance Office at the Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave SW, Washington DC 2002-4605.

Additional information is available at

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]

What is directory information?

FERPA identifies certain information, called directory information, that may be disclosed without the student's permission.

The following student information is considered Texas Tech University Directory Information:

  1. Student Name
  2. Permanent and Local Addresses
  3. Place of Birth
  4. Classification
  5. Major Field of Study
  6. Dates of Attendance
  7. Degrees, Awards, and Honors Received
  8. Specific Enrollment Status
  9. Full-time, Part-time, Half-time
  10. Undergraduate, Graduate, Law
  11. Participation in Officially Recognized Sports and Activities
  12. Height/weight of members of Athletic Teams
  13. Previous Institution(s) Attended

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]

What are educational records?

Educational records are all records that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting on its behalf. A record means any information recorded in any way, including handwriting, print, tape, film, microfilm, microfiche, and digital images.
Educational records do not include the following:

  • sole possession records -- records kept in the sole possession of the maker which are used only as a personal memory aid and are not accessible or reviewed by any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record);
  • medical or psychological treatment records that include those maintained by physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists;
  • employment records, provided that employment is not contingent upon being a student;
  • law enforcement records; and
  • records collected about an individual after that person is no longer a student at TTU.

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]

Is there some way that I can block my information?

​A currently-enrolled student may restrict access to their directory information, or may remove their information from public directories, through the MyTech (Raiderlink) system during the first twelve class days of any semester, or the first four class days of any summer term. (Restricted information remains so until revoked by the student.)

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]

Do students have a right to see and change their educational records?

​Upon written request, the university shall provide a student access to his or her educational records except for financial records of the student's parents or guardian; and confidential letters of recommendation where the student has signed a waiver of right of access. If the records contain information on more than one student, the requesting student may inspect, review, or be informed on only the specific information about his or her own records. Educational records covered by FERPA normally will be made available within forty-five days of the request. The contents of a student's educational records may be challenged by the student on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of the student by submitting a written statement to the custodian of records (the Registrar).

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]

Who has access to student educational records?

​According to FERPA, nondirectory information may not be released without prior written consent from the student. Exceptions are listed in the Student Handbook; they include access by appropriate university administrators, faculty members, or staff members who require access to educational records in order to perform their legitimate educational duties; officials of other schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll; and in connection with a student's application for, or receipt of, financial aid.

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]

What is legitimate educational interest?

​Legitimate educational interest is access to educational records by appropriate University administrators, faculty members, staff members, appropriate administrators or staff members of the university alumni association, or contractors acting on behalf of the University, who require such access in order to perform their legitimate educational and business duties, when such records are needed in furtherance of the educational or business purposes of the student or University.

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]

Whom should I contact with questions or concerns?

​Direct general questions to the Office of the Registrar, Ombudsperson, or Dean of Students office as appropriate. Send comments or suggestions to the registrar's office.

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]

How can I grant access to a third party to my educational records?

FERPA makes provision for inspection, review and amendment of educational records by the student and requires, in most instances, prior consent from the student for disclosure of such records to third parties. The consent must be in writing, signed, and dated by the student and must specify records to be released, the reason for the release, and the names of the parties to whom such records will be released. The act applies to all persons formerly and currently enrolled at an educational institution. No exclusion is made for non‐U.S. citizen students. However, the act does not apply to a person who has applied for admission, but who never actually enrolled in or attended the institution, and deceased persons.

If you would like someone other than yourself to have access to your education information, please complete the FERPA form. The FERPA form is available for student completion at :

Note: Only complete the FERPA form if you are giving someone permission to access your academic information.

Upon completion of the form, you will need to complete one of the following options:

  • Bring the completed FERPA form to the Office of the Registrar, West Hall, room 103.
  • Send by Mail to: Office of the Registrar, Texas Tech University, Box 45015, Lubbock, TX 79409
  • FAX to: (806)742‐0355

Important! If you would like to take access away from the person listed on the FERPA form, you will need to visit West Hall, room 103, to rescind education information access.

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]

How is information released to military recruiters?

​The Solomon Amendment is a federal law that requires universities to release the following information to military recruiters without student consent: Student name, address, telephone number, age or year of birth, place of birth, level of education (1st year, sophomore, graduate, etc.), academic major(s), and most recent educational institution attended. You may opt out of releasing your information to military recruiters through the MyTech (Raiderlink) system.

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); Veteran's Affairs; ]

How does FERPA apply to Dual Credit Students?


Students who are enrolled in both high school and courses at a postsecondary (university) institution provide a unique situation. While the rights under FERPA belong to the parents with respect to high school records, they belong to the student with respect to the postsecondary records. Students can give written permission for their parents and/or the high school program coordinators and officials to access their education record by completing the Authorization to Release Student Information Form ( ). Dual credit students are advised of their FERPA rights in the dual credit admission program information.

Texas Tech University strongly encourages parents of dual-credit students to respect the student's ownership of his or her education record at the college level and seek ways to gain that information while safeguarding the student's rights and responsibilities. Faculty teaching dual-credit courses will make every attempt to communicate with and through the student, as an important maturation point for college students.

Parents of dual credit students are encouraged to seek communication first with the student; then, if authorization is in place, with the instructor. Other record access options may exist in extenuating circumstances, and would require contacting the Office of the Registrar directly.

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]

To whom do the rights of records belong for a deceased student?

​For deceased students, members of the family or other person with the written approval of the family or representatives of the estate will be given the rights for the TTU student’s non-directory educational records.  A request for education records must be accompanied by a copy of the death certificate or obituary, if Texas Tech does not have record of the student’s passing.  Absent written approval from the family or representatives of the estate, only directory information will be disclosed to persons upon request if the record is not designated as confidential.

[Categories: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974); ]