| September 14, 2023

Student Privacy Laws: What are Your Rights?

privacy law students
privacy law students

Going to school means paperwork! Students must sign multiple documents to enroll, qualify for scholarships, sign up for classes, travel for coursework, and more. With all those official signatures and private information floating around, you want to make sure your student’s data is protected from prying eyes.

But what are the privacy laws for students? How can students be confident that their personal information is safe as they go about their busy lives? We’ve addressed some of these pressing concerns that may be on your mind as your loved one’s head to school this year.


protected school students


Student Privacy Laws that Protect Students

Different states in the U.S. have varying laws about student privacy. However, if you are looking at the federal level, you may have one main question:

What 3 Laws Protect Student Confidentiality?

The three federal laws you will almost always come across are the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law that gives parents certain rights over their children’s private info. Parents are able to access their children’s education records and request to have them amended, as well as partially control the disclosure of their children’s personally identifiable information.

FERPA ceases to be effective for the parents when the child turns 18, or when the child enters a post-secondary institution. At this point, FERPA rights transfer from the parent to the student.

FERPA does not require schools to keep specific information in education records. FERPA prohibits schools from sharing their students’ personal information without permission. But in some instances, schools are legally allowed to share private information without disclosure or permission. However, some examples of FERPA violations may be in order to make it clear when a school may not disclose a student’s private information.

Violation of FERPA Examples

  • If a school chooses to deny the parents or legal guardians their rights to their child’s education records, this is a clear violation of FERPA.
  • A school will violate FERPA if it fails to protect a student’s personal information by releasing data in a way that does not abide by the rules.

What is FERPA for College?

Once a student has moved on to higher education, it is now their right to control who has access to their education records. Students are able to access their own records, try to amend certain info in their records, and verify overall accuracy. If the student’s parents request access to their records, the student must give written permission.


school boy


What is COPPA?

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 is a federal law by which operators of online services and sites must abide to protect the privacy of children who are under 13. COPPA regulates several different aspects of website use:

• Privacy policies must include certain content.
• Privacy policies must also be posted whenever data can be collected.
• Parents must be sought for verifiable consent in certain circumstances.
• Website operators have certain responsibilities for children’s online privacy, such as restrictions on marketing that targets children who are younger than 13.

Do Student Privacy Laws Also Cover Student Data Privacy?

FERPA is in place to protect your student’s privacy. For more data-specific protection, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) comes into effect. CIPA regulates schools, libraries, and other educational entities that receive discounts for internet access.

You will also find that the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment rescripts student privacy rights in surveys and evaluations that are federally funded.

For people with disabilities, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ensures the confidentiality of these people’s personally identifiable information.

How Can Parents of College Students Protect Their Kids?

When a young adult moves away to college, parents obviously want to protect them as much as possible. But it’s important to remember that, once your child is 18 and out of the house, many of the legal burdens of life fall on their shoulders. You may be responsible for some financial issues; for example, if your student’s car is under your name, you will have to deal with the problems if they get into trouble on the road.

However, since your child will become largely responsible when they go to college, the best you can do is warn them of the dangers and remain open to communication. Be someone they can trust if they have issues. Let them know you are available to offer wisdom and help as they navigate this new chapter of life.

Whether you have a child in K-12, trade school, college, or another form of education, you want to be sure they are safe, and their rights are protected. LegalShield wants the same thing! When you become a LegalShield Member, you gain access to a dedicated provider law firm that is ready to help. Our lawyers can answer questions, offer guidance, review paperwork, make phone calls, and assist with other legal issues that may arise as you deal with back-to-school ordeals.

Start your LegalShield Membership and find out exactly how we can help in your unique situation today!

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (“PPLSI”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to PPLSI members through membership-based participation. Neither PPLSI nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation, or advice. The information available in this blog is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. The blog post is not a substitute for competent legal counsel from a licensed professional lawyer in the state or province where your legal issues exist, and the reader is strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel for your specific legal matter. Information contained in the blog may be provided by authors who could be a third-party paid contributor. All information by authors is accepted in good faith, however, PPLSI makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of such information.

Get the Power of Legal Protection

Modal Associate Startup Plan
Associate Start Up

LegalShield offers motivated individuals a unique program designed to deliver their dreams. Join our community and its mission to empower and protect by providing affordable legal access for all. Start your own part-time business, and take control of your future.

  • 1 month of LegalShield Advantage state of the art marketing tools
  • In-depth live training classes taught by LegalShield’s best of the best
  • Exclusive sales tools to build and manage your business on-the-go
  • A community of like-minded entrepreneurs to help you exceed your goals
Are you registering as an individual or a business?
Requirements for businesses.

Have you or someone who may write business under this Associate Agreement ever been convicted of a felony, had a professional license revoked or have unresolved pending arrests and/or charges?
See our requirements for associates.
Modal Business Builder Plan 2021

Comprehensive identity theft protection and credit monitoring.


Start your own part-time business, and take control of your future.

$49.00 one-time fee
Modal Commercial Drivers Legal Plan

Provides representation and support for a multitude of commercial driving issues to help keep you protected and on the road.

  • Covers member & spouse
  • Traffic Accident Representation
  • Moving Violations Defense
Choose a Plan:

Tragic accident representation, license reinstatement, moving violations, DOT and non-moving violations, property damage collection, personal injury collection.

Modal IdShield Plan
IDShield Plan

Offering comprehensive identity theft monitoring and identity restoration services.

Choose a Plan:

TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax credit monitoring that covers you, your spouse or domestic partner and up to 10 dependent children.


Transunion credit monitoring that covers you, your spouse or domestic partner and up to 10 dependent children.

TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax credit monitoring that covers one individual.

Transunion credit monitoring that covers one individual.

Modal IDShield Business Plan

IDShield Business Essentials

Protects up to 6 URLs and/or public IP addresses


IDShield Business Plus

Protects up to 12 URLs and/or public IP addresses

Modal Legalshield Plan
Licecnse Associate Required

Associate Name
Associate phone number.
Associate's city
Modal Small Business Plan NEW

Small Business Legal Essentials

In-state phone consultation, 10 phone calls or letters and 10 document reviews a year, 5 collection notices a month, 3 half-hour consultative calls, and a 25% discount on trademarking, contract drafting, and more.

Small Business Legal Plus

Unlimited interstate phone consultation, 20 phone calls or letters and 20 document reviews a year, 10 collection notices per month, 5 half hour consultative calls, 25 hours IRS assistance, one trademarking filing per year and more.

Small Business Legal Pro

Unlimited interstate phone consultation, 40 phone calls or letters and 40 document reviews a year, 15 collection notices per month, 5 half hour consultative calls, 50 hours IRS assistance, one trademarking filing per year and more.
Small Business Supplements:
Is this a publicly traded or non-profit company?
This plan does not cover publicly traded companies. Please call 1-855-387-6320 for more information