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Forum Guide to Protecting the Privacy of Student Information: State and Local Education Agencies

5.E. Providing Copies or Charging a Fee

FERPA does not require agencies or schools to provide copies of education records unless there are reasons (e.g., great distance, illness, disability, or a lack of building accessibility) that make it impossible for parents or eligible students to inspect the records in person. A school district may establish in its policy the circumstances under which copies of education records will be provided.

As established in FERPA, the agency or school may not charge for search and retrieval of the records. However, it may charge for copies, copying time, and postage. Fees for copies of records, including transcripts, should be established in the school or district policy and publicized as needed. However, the fee imposed should not serve to deter parents from reviewing their childís record. The agency or school also may allow the parent who is reviewing the records to make copies of parts of the records. If so, it is permissible to charge the parent for photocopying costs.