FERPA for Parents

What is FERPA?

FERPA is a Federal law designed to protect the privacy of education records. It also provides guidelines for appropriately using and releasing student education records. It is intended that students’ rights be broadly defined and applied. Therefore, the student is considered to be the “owner” of his or her education record, and the institution as the “custodian” of that record.

Why do I have limited access to my son or daughter's college records especially when I am paying the bills?

Under FERPA, the access rights that parents and legal guardians had in the elementary and secondary school setting are transferred to students, once a student has turned eighteen, or is attending any post secondary educational institution. Parents can be given access to their son or daughter's records if the student authorizes the permission in writing or in connection with the student's application for or receipt of financial aid.

How can I find out my student's grades?

The best approach is to ask your son or daughter directly. In order for you to receive grade reports or other academic information on a regular basis, your son or daughter should complete the authorization to disclose academic iInformation form, FERPA and return it to the Office of the Registrar.

What records does FERPA cover?

The privacy protection FERPA gives to students is very broad. With limited exceptions, the FERPA regulations give privacy protection to all students' "education records." Education records are defined as"those records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution." Examples of student records entitled to FERPA privacy protection are grade reports, transcripts, and most disciplinary files.

Will I be notified if my son or daughter is placed on academic probation?

No. Information about grades and academic standing is sent directly to students. You can, of course, ask your son or daughter to keep you informed about his academic performance.

Where can I find out more information about FERPA?

FERPA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education and the FERPA Website is available for you to review.

Whom should I contact with questions or concerns?

Direct general questions to the Office of the Registrar.