The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) (FERPA) is a federal law regarding the privacy of student education records and the related requirements of educational institutions, primarily in the areas of education record access and information release.

FERPA’s primary purposes are to ensure that students have an opportunity to review their own education records, to provide students with a process for requesting amendments to their education records, and to protect the confidentiality of students’ education records.

To this end, FERPA grants eligible students in attendance the following rights:

  • the right to inspect and review their education records;
  • the right to request amendment of education records that they believe to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of their privacy rights;
  • the right to consent to disclosures of personally-identifiable information contained in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent; and
  • the right to file complaints with the Department of Education concerning alleged failures by an educational agency or institution to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

FERPA governs education record access and release by:

  • defining students’ rights regarding their education records;
  • specifying under which conditions students’ education records may be shared within JHU; and
  • specifying under which conditions student’ education records may be shared outside of JHU.

Educational institutions that receive funds under any program administered by the U.S. Secretary of Education must adhere to FERPA regulations. As a recipient of federal funding, Johns Hopkins University is obligated to comply with FERPA.

FERPA at JHU

Safeguarding student education record privacy is a matter of concern to all JHU offices and to all persons who have access to JHU office facilities. The Office of the University Registrar and the divisional registrar offices are the official repositories for student academic records; however, records relating to students are maintained in many offices across JHU’s campuses.

As student data stewards, the Office of the University Registrar and the divisional registrar offices are committed to FERPA compliance. In this role, we educate the JHU community about its confidentiality obligations, and we inform currently enrolled students of their rights in regards to their own educational records by providing an annual notification.

For any questions regarding FERPA compliance at JHU, please contact FERPA@jhu.edu or the Office of General Counsel. Students can request assistance regarding FERPA-related matters by contacting the Office of Student Enrollment and Account Management.