PPRA governs the administration to students of a survey, analysis, or evaluation that concerns one or more of the following eight protected areas:
- Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student's parent;
- mental or psychological problems of the student or the student's family;
- sex behavior or attitudes;
- illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
- critical appraisals of other individuals with who respondent have close family relationships;
- legally recognize privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
- religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student's parent; or
- income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).
If such surveys are funded by the U.S. Department of Education, prior written parent approval must be received before the survey is administered. Non-department funded surveys may be conducted without written parental permission provided there is prior notification to the parent indicating the purpose, approximate dates of administration and an opportunity for the parent to opt their student out of participation.