FERPA and Student Privacy
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or FERPA was enacted in 1974 by the U.S. Congress to ensure student's right to inspect their own records and have some control over the disclosure of their personal records.
FERPA states that personally identifiable information* under the control of an educational institution can only be provided to that student or, in certain cases, the parents or legal guardians without prior consent. Once a student reaches the age of 18 or enters a postsecondary institution, a school is prohibited from disclosing to the parent without the student's consent. However, if the parent can demonstrate that the student is a financial dependent (via Internal Revenue Service records) the institution may opt to disclose the information.
*The following are examples of personally identifiable information: ID numbers, financial transactions (i.e. student bills and account charges, enrollment information and transcripts (i.e. grades).