What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 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.

Does FERPA give a parent the right to see the education record of their child?

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level.

Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

What information can be shared without permission?

Directory information, as defined by FERPA, is "information contained in a student's education record that generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed." A school can share this information with anyone without consent if the student has not invoked the right of non-disclosure of directory information.

FERPA allows but does not mandate the release of directory information which includes:

  • Name
  • Current address*
  • Major
  • Dates of attendance
  • Enrollment
  • Degree and date received
  • Previous education institutions attended
  • Eligibility and participation in officially recognized activities and sports

*Current address and phone number are considered restricted directory information. These items are only released if a legitimate educational interest is established.

What if a student changes their mind and now wants to share directory information?

Restricting directory information can cause problems for new TCC graduates. If a student’s directory information is restricted, TCC cannot verify the student’s degree, certificate or enrollment to potential employers who request information.

Students can update their directory information consent by submitting a Directory Information Release Form (PDF)Listen to one of the following:

  • Email
  • Mail
    Attn: District Admissions and Records
    300 Trinity Campus Circle
    Fort Worth, TX 76102
  • In-Person
    Your campus's Admissions and Registrar Office

What information is never shared without permission?

Non-directory information is never released without the student's official authorization. These items include but are not limited to:

  • Enrollment verification
  • Grade point average (GPA)
  • Academic standing
  • Grades or transcripts

What are a student's rights under FERPA?

Student rights under FERPA can be found in the College's Annual Notification of Rights Under FERPA

What is a waiver of academic privacy?

Students must submit the Waiver of Academic Privacy (PDF)Listen before the College will release the student's academic record to any third-party.

What if the student is enrolled in Dual Credit/Early College High School?

In a situation where a student is enrolled in both a high school and at TCC via a Dual Credit or Early College High School Program, the two schools may exchange information on that student. If the student is under 18, the parent/guardian still retains the rights under FERPA at the high school and may inspect and review any records sent by TCC to the high school.

Updated August 21, 2023