What If I Think The Law Is Not Being Followed By The University?

The United States Department of Education has an office and review board for investigating and reviewing complaints of FERPA violations. If the Secretary of the Department finds the school has failed to comply with FERPA action may be taken to terminate financial assistance from the federal government to the institution. If you have a complaint you are required to file the alleged violation within 180 days from its occurrence. Send the complaint to: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington D.C., 20202-5920.

Students must have reasonable cause for making the allegation. You should write the complaint with factual and specific allegations for why you believe a violation occurred. This includes:

  • Relevant dates (e.g., the date you learned of the violation)
  • Names of those involved (e.g., school officials, campus police)
  • Detailed description of the education record involved and of any contact had with school officials about the matter (e.g., dates and times of telephone calls, copies of correspondence with the school)
  • Name and address of the school
  • Any other information that would be helpful in evaluating your complaint.

For more information on how to allege a complaint about a FERPA violation, see http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/students.html