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Short Title

FERPA Disclosure Provisions and Educational Research

Abstract

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates how schools collect, use, and disclose student information, including disclosures to third-party educational researchers. This article examines how educational researchers can structure their activities to reduce the risk of violating FERPA’s disclosure restrictions. In order to do so, we present two options for researchers to consider: utilizing de-identified student information that does not fall within the scope of FERPA, or complying with FERPA by securing prior consent for student information disclosure or qualifying for an exception from FERPA’s consent requirement. The article’s discussion of these options includes an overview of FERPA’s legal framework, along with the practical advantages and disadvantages of each option.

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