The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

More Information

See the following board policies and administrative procedures of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District:

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to students when they reach the age of 18 or attend a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

  • Eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
  • Students have the right to request that a school correct records that they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth their view about the contested information.
  • Generally, schools must have written permission from the student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
      • School officials with legitimate educational interest
      • Other schools to which a student is transferring
      • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
      • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
      • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
      • Accrediting organizations
      • Parties designated under a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
      • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
      • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell students about directory information and allow students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

FERPA Exception: Solomon Amendment

The Solomon Amendment is a federal law (10 U.S.C. §503) that allows military recruiters to obtain certain address, biographical and academic information for students who are 17 or older. The U.S. Department of Education has determined that this law takes precedence over the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which limits sharing of student records. Colleges that fail to comply with the Solomon Amendment risk losing federal funding.

Under the Solomon Amendment, recruiters from each of the 12 U.S. military branches (Army, Army National Guard, Navy, Navy Reserve, etc.) may request the following information for current, full-time students age 17 or older, once per term:

  • Name
  • Addresses
  • Institutional email address
  • Phone numbers
  • Age
  • Level of education
  • Major or degree program in which the student is enrolled
  • Degrees received for recent graduates
  • Educational institution in which the student was most recently enrolled

Requests for information must be submitted to the Enrollment Services Division on letterhead clearly identifying the military station or unit requesting the information. Additional instructions for requesting information can be found at

The Solomon Amendment does not require institutions to collect student information. As a result, colleges are not required to respond if they do not currently collect or have the information requested.

In addition, the law recognizes student and parental rights under FERPA to withhold disclosure of private information. Students, parents or guardians can submit a request for the college to withhold a student’s information unless prior written consent is obtained from the student, parent or guardian. Instructions for submitting a request to withhold information can be found at

FERPA Records Officer

The Foothill-De Anza district's Administrative Procedure 5050 identifies the college registrar as the “Records Officer” required by FERPA. Current and former students can review their education records by completing or filing a request in the Admissions and Records Office. Such records will be made immediately available when possible or within 15 days of written request. If the review results in a dispute, the college registrar will initiate an informal proceeding in an attempt to resolve the matter. If the dispute continues, a grievance may be filed with the vice president of Student Services.

Back to Top