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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Information Technologies

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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a 1974 federal law protecting the privacy of student educational records. FERPA safeguards student privacy by limiting who may access student records, specifying for what purpose they may access those records, and detailing what rules they must follow when accessing the data.

Although the pages referenced on IT@Cornell are written for those who instruct students at Cornell (faculty, graduate students, teaching assistants, and others), the information pertains to any staff member who works with FERPA-protected data.

General Information About FERPA

General Information About FERPA covers applicable laws and Cornell policy. Start here if you are new to using FERPA with information technology tools at Cornell.

Information Protected by FERPA

Read Information Protected By FERPA to understand the specific types of protected information.

Protect FERPA Information When Using IT Services

Protect FERPA Information When Using IT Services offers guidance on how to use and manage protected student information in your classes.

Using Cloud Storage

Find guidance about how to use cloud storage (Box, Google, OneDrive) and how to share files electronically at Securely Use Cloud Services.

Additional Resources

Download a printable copy of the Course Instructor Educational Records (FERPA) FAQ. The most current version of this manual is dated January 2024.

Additional information about FERPA can also be found through the Office of the University Registrar and Policy 4.5, Access to Student Information


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At Cornell we value your privacy. To view
our university's privacy practices, including
information use and third parties, visit University Privacy.