How FERPA applies to school counselors

**This blog post is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for legal advice.** 


If we had a nickel for every time someone asked us how FERPA applies to them, well then we’d have a very large collection of nickels. The truth is, FERPA applies to different schools and employees different ways, so it’s really important that you check with your own school and legal counsel to be certain. However, for a few basics on how FERPA applies to school counselors, I can help you out. Just step into my office.

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act “protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.” So, ask yourself, “Does my school receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education?” If the answer is no, then FERPA likely doesn’t apply to you. However, in some instances just one or a few students on your campus may be in a federally funded program, so you should double check with your school counsel to ensure you’re aware of if and how FERPA applies to your school. And, even if FERPA does not apply, it is a best business practice to remain aware of what it covers, how it works, and how it applies to others so you’re protecting students and yourself.

The American School Counselor Association provides great guidance for school counselors. According to the ASCA:

FERPA guidelines delineate who may have access to education records without parental permission. School counselors and other educators who have legitimate educational interest (LEI) can access education records. Legitimate educational interest generally means you may access an education record for the purpose of:
• Performing appropriate tasks within your job description;
• Performing a task related to a student’s education;
• Performing a task related to discipline; or
• Providing a service or benefit related to the student or to the student’s family such as counseling, health care or job placement.

For additional information on FERPA, check out these resources:



**This blog post is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for legal advice.**

Learn how Magnus SMR allows counselors to make notes and share it only with the people with a legitimate educational interest. {{cta(’50fa9a85-f625-48cb-85e3-34e13aff6812′,’justifycenter’)}}