Higher Education Associations Urge ED to Reconsider Proposed FERPA Regulations

NASFAA joined 30 higher education associations to urge the U.S. Department of Education to reconsider its proposed changes to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. 

The Department issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on April 8 to amend FERPA with the goal of giving states the flexibility to share data to  ensure taxpayer funds are invested wisely on effective programs. The proposal also seeks to increase accountability for all entities that handle FERPA-protected records.

In a letter sent to the Department, the associations warn that the proposed changes would expand the number of individuals who may access personally identifiable information without consent.

"This will create significant administrative challenges for institutions of higher education which may begin to receive requests for data from multiple entities without a clear understanding of what authority resides in the entity making the request and what protections -- if any -- are conveyed or guaranteed in regard to the data," the letter states.

The Department plans to publish final rules by the end of this year. These rules are not subject to master calendar requirements so the final rules are likely to become effective a few months after they are published.