Division of Student Affairs > Resources > Parents & Family > Family Connection News > 2020-2021 News > FERPA

What is FERPA?

When your child goes to college, there are a lot of changes. They are off starting a new chapter in life as young, independent adults--but that doesn’t mean that they no longer need their parents and families to offer support in times of need. ​

Many students, especially new ones and especially during a global pandemic, still rely on their guardians to help them along the way. This article will provide basic details for families to work with their students to ensure everyone is getting the right information.

FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, which is a Federal law protecting the privacy of students’ education records. This law applies to every school receiving funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
According to FERPA’s website, education records are “(1) directly related to a student; and (2) maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting for the agency or institution.” In short, student education records contain grades, course schedule, financial aid history, student account statement and essentially any DePaul record that identifies a student personally.
Only students have access to their education records, it is their responsibility to set and maintain personal FERPA release preferences in Campus Connect. If they want, students can choose to give permission to DePaul to share their records with you or they can simply share the information with directly. Students are strongly encouraged to be open with their parents and/or family members about their academic progress and other important issues that may come up. If you want access, make sure to ask your student to add you. Most offices at DePaul can give students a “FERPA release”, which they can sign to allow the school to share information from their education record. 
It should be noted that FERPA enforces a “health and safety exception” which allows school officials to disclose information from a student’s education record to the appropriate parties without consent if the university reasonably determines such disclosure is necessary to the safety and well-being of a student or other individuals.
DePaul also strongly recommends that students list their parent(s) or guardian(s) as their emergency contact in Campus Connect.

Student Care Team
DePaul also has a Student Care Team which considers the needs of students of concern who have a wide range of behavioral, psychological, physical, social, or academic needs. The university engages families along with other supportive resources to ensure students get the help they need if a student comes to our attention whose behavior falls within certain areas (health, safety, alcohol, controlled substances).  
Learn more about FERPA here, contact DePaul Central via email​ or call 312-362-8610.