College Navigation 101 - FERPA


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College Parents of America brings to you timely and relevant information about FERPA. What FERPA means for you and your college student.

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College Navigation 101 - FERPA

  1. 1. College Navigation 101 - FERPA What FERPA Means For You & Your College Student Don’t go to College without us….
  2. 2. How do I navigate the college maze? If the college acceptance letters have just begun to come in, congratulations! You are now officially a college parent. You are excited for your student, and possibly a bit overwhelmed for yourself. You’re not sure what you should be thinking about, or doing, or how to help your student prepare for the next phase. Don’t worry! College Navigation 101 should help you think about your new role and help you get started on your journey.
  3. 3. College Navigation 101 – FERPA What is FERPA? • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (sometimes referred to as the Buckley Amendment) was designed to protect the privacy of educational records and to establish the rights of students to inspect and review their educational records. • It also provided control over the release of educational record information. The original intent of this legislation was to keep elementary and high school records private and to give parents access to their child’s school records. • Once a student turns eighteen, or attends school beyond secondary school, the rights of access to the student’s records transfer to the student.
  4. 4. College Navigation 101 – FERPA What does FERPA mean for you as a college parent? • Generally FERPA rules mean that student academic information such as grades or academic standing (GPA, academic transcript, academic warning, academic probation, or discipline records) will be given to the student and not to the parents. • College students are considered responsible adults who may determine who will receive information about them. • College representatives are prohibited from discussing information about the student’s academic record with parents. Most colleges have a waiver form which students can sign allowing records to be released to parents or college representatives, such as faculty members, to discuss records with parents.
  5. 5. College Navigation 101 – FERPA Does this mean that you have no way to find out your student’s grades? • Because FERPA legislation prevents parents from finding out student grades and academic standing directly from the school, the best way to find out how your student is doing is to ask him. • The sharing of student academic information with parents becomes a family issue rather than an institutional issue. It is a decision that families should discuss and make together. • Perhaps one of the benefits of the FERPA rule is that it provides an additional opportunity for parents to communicate with their college student about their expectations and the student’s responsibilities. • Rather than seeing this legislation as a barrier to good college parenting, parents might see this as an important opportunity for meaningful dialogue with a student.
  6. 6. College Navigation 101 – FERPA Are there any exceptions to the restrictions limiting the release of student information? • There is a health and safety exception to FERPA regulations. If a student is considered a threat to himself or to others, or there is a need to protect the health and safety of the student for some reason, information may be shared with parents. • A school may also disclose to parents any violation of the use or possession of drugs or alcohol by students under twenty-one. • An important note here is that the law allows, but does not require, such information to be released to parents. School policies may vary widely regarding parental notification policies.
  7. 7. College Navigation 101 – FERPA College parents often feel frustrated by FERPA regulations. You may feel that you need, and should have, access to student information. As college parents, we need to remember that college students are working toward increased independence and responsibility. Allowing them to determine who receives their academic information is a part of that growing independence. Some students handle this responsibility wisely and some may struggle with it. As with many aspects of the college experience, increased communication between college parents and college students will make the experience go smoothly for everyone.
  8. 8. You have questions, we have answers! College Parents of America and get more tips and advice on: What is my role as a college parent; How should I communicate with my college student; How to avoid becoming a helicopter parent; and Much More… For more information, please contact us the following ways: 888-761-6702