Are Your Grades Confidential?

Created By : Jatin Gogia

Reviewed By : Rajasekhar Valipishetty

Last Updated : May 22, 2023

Are Your Grades Confidential?: You might be wondering whether your grades are kept under wraps at your school. Well, the answer is yes! Your grades and other student records are actually protected by the law in the United States. Let us discuss how exactly your records and grades are safeguarded by the law in this article.

What is the FERPA Law?

The FERPA stands for Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. You might also refer to it as the Buckley Amendment. It comes under Federal law and all schools that are funded by a program that is recognized by the US Department of Education must comply with this law.

This law protects the privacy of all types of student information, including your exam results, scores for standardized tests, GPA, and more. Any student record that your school has on you will be kept safe, and the school is forbidden from sharing or releasing this information to anyone without your consent. But, there are a few factors to keep in mind with this.

If you are a student who is younger than 18, then your parents hold some of the rights under FERPA. But, once you turn 18, then the rights will be transferred from your parents to you. Once they do, you will be known as an eligible student.

Who Gets Access to your Grades?

As we have mentioned before, the age of the student plays a major role in deciding who gets to see their grades. If the student is younger than 18, then your parents can access your grades and other student records without any consent from the student.

But, if the student is above the age of 18, the school or college must have consent from the student, usually written, for their parents to be able to access the grades and other information.

Other than parents, your grades can only be accessed once you give your consent. You have the freedom to decide who can view your records. Not even teachers or other staff members are allowed to share your information with people that you do not give access.

With your consent, only a few people have the right to view your grades and records. These people can be teachers, counsellors, health staff, school administrators, or school attorneys.

Why are your Grades Confidential?

Worried about your teacher exposing your grades in public? Lucky for you, you will not have to worry about such a thing. These things might have happened a long time ago, but the United States law has evolved in such a way that protects the privacy of students and their families.

You might think that your grades are simply numbers, but the country considers them and other student records to be official and incredibly important documents. This means that US law recognizes your grades as top-tier documents that require a high level of security.

So, why are your grades confidential? Well, everybody, including young students, reserves the right to privacy when it comes to their personal credentials and documents. You get to decide what information can be shared, and who gets to access your information. This security is especially ramped up in public schools and colleges, where teachers and other staff members uphold strict privacy laws.

Which Schools Follow FERPA?

Unlike what you may be thinking, not all schools have the requirement to follow FERPA. Only private or public schools that receive funding from federal education programs must follow this law. Whether it is digital or written information, federally-supported schools must comply with FERPA.

In addition to FERPA, states in the US also have their own set of laws regarding privacy. These laws also go hand-in-hand with FERPA, in order to keep student records safe. Regardless of which law we are looking at, every law requires the student to give written consent so their records can be accessed. Until then, all information is strictly classified.

Want to know more about the state law that protects your grades? You can either do your own research regarding the law in your particular state, or you can reach out to the resources center at your school or college, so they can provide you with the right information. You may also speak to your principal, headmaster, or school advisor, about your rights. Alternatively, you can visit the official website of the Department of Education to obtain more details.

What are the Different Rights under FERPA?

There are many reasons why a student or their parents might want to access the student’s grades and records. If the parents or student want to check if the records are up-to-date, then they will be able to access the records if the student is a minor. They can also request access if they think that the student records are incorrect.

But they will typically need written consent from the student or their parents if the information is to be shared with other people. Like so, there are many factors and rights under the FERPA, so you definitely need to check with your school or college if you are concerned.

Normally, the education agencies in each state send out information regarding the privacy of student records to the students and their families, every year. Thus, students can read up on their rights in case something happens to their student records.

FAQs on Are Your Grades Confidential?

1. Are my grades confidential?

Yes! You do not need to worry about it, because if your school is funded by a federal program, then they are legally required to comply with the FERPA, which is a law that protects your school documents, including your grades.

2. Who can view my grades?

When you are under the age of 18, only your parents can view your grades without your consent. But after 18, you can provide access to your parents, lawyers, staff members, etc, only by giving your written consent.

3. What is the FERPA?

FERPA stands for Family Educational Privacy Act and is a crucial law that protects the privacy of students and their families. Thus, it safeguards your grades, as well as other student records such as exam scores, GPA, and more. FERPA only applies to schools that are funded by the government. Under FERPA, no one can access your records until you allow them to.

4. What information is protected by FERPA?

There are two types of information: directory and personally identifiable information. Directory information involves your name, address, phone number, etc. This type of information is not protected by the FERPA, and the school is allowed to reveal it. But personally identifiable information like your GPA and exam grades are protected under FERPA. Schools are forbidden from sharing this type of information without your consent.


So, to answer your question, your grades and similar records will remain confidential. If you are under the age of 18, your parents will be able to view your grades without your consent. However, if you are over 18, then you will have to provide written consent even for your parents to be able to access your records. Every school and college that is financially supported by federal programs must abide by the FERPA. You can get more information on your rights if you check with your school or college.

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