Family Education Rights & Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is the federal law which protects the privacy of student records. Before accessing student records, all members of the Bates community should carefully review the material presented in the FERPA tutorial which follows. Maintaining confidentiality of student records can be achieved by knowing a few basic requirements of FERPA.

Bates College fully complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, known as FERPA. FERPA (20 U.S.C1232g and 34 CFR 99) applies to all educational institutions and agencies that receive funds under any program administered by the U.S. Secretary of Education. The purpose of the law is to protect the confidentiality of the records educational institutions maintain on their students, allow students to limit disclosure of “personally identifiable information” contained in education records, and to give students access to review their records to ensure the accuracy of their contents.

As school officials, faculty have access to student records as appropriate and are expected to maintain the confidentiality of those records. An annual notification regarding FERPA is published each year in the Catalog. The registrar’s office offers training for departments and programs as well as individual faculty members. Faculty should review additional information and a brief tutorial on FERPA on the registrar’s office website: bates.edu/registrar/ferpa/. Faculty may contact the registrar at any time with questions about FERPA or confidentiality of student records.

The tutorial, comprised of a brief overview and a quick 10 question quiz, is designed to give you a basic understanding of the rules governing access to and release of student information at Bates College. For more information, or consultation regarding specific situations, please contact the Office of the Registrar and Academic Systems.

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Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA page: Family Policy Compliance Office