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Education: FERPA Compliance



The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. FERPA provides parents and adult students certain rights with respect to their records and gives them some control over the disclosure of their information. It prevents a school from sharing current and archived student records or personally identifiable information without written consent from the parent or student. Only school officials with a Legitimate educational purpose are granted access to protected records.

“When I sit down in conversation with other people in higher education, the concern over student records eventually is traced to FERPA. Nobody in the IT business wants to be the CIO of the university that gets written up in the New York Times because they had some breach of privacy.”

— Jeff Schiller. Network Manager and Security Architect, MIT  

Educational Impact

Schools must maintain sufficient security to guard against unauthorized access to records and to document each disclosure. They must also notify parents and adult students annually of their rights under FERPA. Individual liability varies from state to state but any school found in FERPA violation jeopardizes federal funding. To comply, schools are investing in technologies to help them:

  • Meet FERPA requirements by improving control of student records.
  • Efficiently store and access electronic documents.
  • Save money by reducing costs and avoiding fines.

ECM Enables FERPA Compliance

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) provides a comprehensive records system that controls virtually any student document and makes it easy for schools to manage large amounts of information. Learning institutions can use lmageSilo®, the cloud ECM service, and PaperVision® Enterprise to simplify document security and to enhance productivity for both faculty and staff.

Efficiently Store and Distribute Information

Every school is responsible for notifying students annually of their rights under FERPA. Within 45 days of a request, they must provide current and past students with their records. ECM enables administrators to retrieve records in seconds and to distribute documents with ease.

  • Enhance efficiency and facilitate timely responses with powerful search capabilities that locate information in seconds.
  • Enable administrators to easily share annual FERPA notices with an unlimited number of students using secure distribution capabilities.

Control Student Records to Comply with FERPA

FERPA requires schools to protect information including date of birth, test scores and grades and to ensure the confidentiality of student information. ImageSilo® and PaperVision® Enterprise assist administrators in proactively guarding against unauthorized access.

  • Limit access and maintain control over system availability with flexible user rights.
  • Use document security to restrict access to student data and ensure that only the necessary documents needed to perform job functions are viewed.

Simplify Records Management and Disclosure to Save Money

Under FERPA, schools must account for each record released, document the reasons the information was shared and show who received it. This careful records management and documented disclosure process can become costly. ECM technology simplifies disclosure documentation and saves money.

  • Document grants allow secure, temporary, Web-based access to student records for those who prefer to receive information electronically, saving you money on distribution.
  • Avoid capital investments in hardware, software or IT resources when you choose ImageSilo®, the cloud-based ECM service.

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