FERPA Information for Parents
In 1974 Congress passed the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or “FERPA”, also known as the Buckley Amendment. FERPA applies to both K-12 and postsecondary educational records, although there is one key difference in the way that the law applies. In K-12 the rights under FERPA belong to the student’s parents until the student turns 18. In postsecondary education the rights belong to the student, regardless of age or dependent status.

The law gives students certain rights concerning their educational records, including the right to expect that information in their educational records will be kept confidential, disclosed only with their permission or under provisions of the law. One such provision allows the release of “Directory Information” – name, address, phone number, e-mail address, major, degree sought, honors, dates of enrollment, number of credits in which enrolled – without student permission. “Directory Information” is the type of information that generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released.

There are some types of information that parents might like to receive: grades, bills, financial aid, and others that are not considered “directory information”. The Institute will not release that information without the student’s permission, even to parents who pay the bill. So what can parents do to get this information? The easiest way is to ask your son or daughter for the information. Another is to ask for access to their STInet account. Or, you can have them fill out a FERPA Release form for information regarding student billing and financial aid.

We encourage parents to communicate with their students about their grades and their progress toward their educational objectives, and not just at the end of the semester. Mid-semester and prior to the start of registration for the next term are very good times to have a conversation about how a student’s courses are going in the current term and what course the student plans to take the next semester.

Please be advised that Southeast Tech student ID numbers and STInet passwords are available only to the student and never given over the phone.