FERPA applies to the education records of:
- Persons who reach the age of 18 or
- Persons who attend a postsecondary school and
- All educational agencies or institutions receiving funds under any program administered by the Secretary of Education.
The responsibility for administering FERPA has been assigned to the Family Compliance Office within the Department of Education.
Educational institutions are required to develop policies for implementing appropriate provisions of FERPA. At the University of the Southwest, the Registrar has been delegated the responsibility to insure that information from educational records is released only to those individuals and agencies that:
- have a legitimate educational interest or
- have been granted legally authorized access.
However, other college and university officials also play an important role in the privacy and security of records. Identity theft, credentials fraud, and other illegal activities have heightened sensibilities and now place a responsibility on all to insure that student data are used only for intended purposes.