FERPA is short for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law enacted in 1974. FERPA protects the privacy of student education records. All educational institutions that receive federal funding, including Cornell, must comply with FERPA. FERPA begins for a Cornell student on the first day of classes/semester or attendance, whichever comes first, and the student continues to be protected by FERPA for their lifetime.

FERPA gives students four basic rights with respect to their education record:

  1. The right to inspect and review their education record.
  2. The right to some control over the disclosure of their education record.
  3. The right to request the amendment of their education record where appropriate.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Many FERPA related questions can be answered in the FERPA FAQ. Any additional questions can be sent to univreg@cornell.edu