The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment) deals specifically with the education records of students, affording them certain rights with respect to those records. For purposes of definition, education records are those records which are:
- Directly related to a student and
- Maintained by an institution or party acting for the institution
FERPA gives students who reach the age of 18 or who attend a post secondary institution the right to inspect and review their own education records. Furthermore, the right to request amendment of records and to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from these records shifts from the parent to the student at this time.
FERPA applies to the education records of persons who are or have been in attendance in post secondary institutions, including students in cooperative and correspondence study programs, video conference, satellite, internet or other electronic forms. At UNC, a student is considered to be "in attendance" on the first day of the first term for which a student is registered.
FERPA does not apply to records of applicants for admission who are denied acceptance or to deceased students.