1. File a complaint
If a school violates your privacy rights, you can file a complaint with the US Department of Education. You may send the complaint to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Dept. of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
Phone: 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327)
You must file your complaint within 180 days of the date of the alleged violation, or 180 days of the date you found out about it. That time limit can be extended if you show that you were prevented by circumstances beyond your control from filing the complaint on time.
2. Wait for the investigation
The Department investigates complaints to find out if the school has violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Both you and the school will get a notice from the Department when it starts its investigation. The school has the opportunity to submit a written response to the complaint. The Department may require the school to submit reports to aid its investigation. You can submit further written or oral arguments or information to support your complaint.
3. Receive the written notice
After the investigation is over, the Department will give you and the school written notice of its findings and the basis for its findings. If the Department finds that the school has violated FERPA, the notice will include a statement of the steps that the school must take to fix the problem, and the time period for doing so.
If the school does not fix the problem within this period, the Department may withhold future federal funding for the school.