FERPA is a federal law designed to protect all students who attend institutions receiving federal funding, including UC San Diego. If UC San Diego is found to have violated FERPA it may be in jeopardy of losing its federal funds.
In a nutshell, FERPA obligates UC San Diego to ensure the privacy and accuracy of education records. This means UC San Diego must comply with student requests to view his or her education records, and it must give students the opportunity to request an amendment to education records he or she feels are inaccurate.
More importantly, FERPA greatly restricts access to students' education records by the general public. Here are some of the only people allowed to access a UC San Diego student's education records:
- The student;
- UC San Diego officials who have a "legitimate educational interest";
- Other schools to which a student may be transferring;
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
- Anyone else the student gives written consent to access his or her education records (a common example is graduate programs to which a student may be applying).
Interesting facts about FERPA:
- FERPA keeps your educational records private from most people. This includes your parents if you are 18 or over!
- Students under the age of 18 have FERPA rights, however their parents also have the ability to also access records.
- Your FERPA rights exist all the way up until your death, not when you leave the university.
- Something as seemingly innocent as a professor leaving graded assignments in an unmonitored area for student pick-up may be a violation of your FERPA rights.
- If you feel your FERPA rights have been violated you may file a complain with the U.S. Department of Education.