FAQs for Parents
- Does FERPA give me a right to see the education records of my son or daughter who is in college?
When a student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution (at any age), all rights afforded to the parent under FERPA transfer to the student ("eligible student"). However, FERPA provides ways in which a school may — but is not required to — share eligible student education records with parents without requiring the student's consent. For example:
- Schools may disclose education records to parents if the student is claimed as a dependent for tax purposes
- Schools may disclose education records to parents if a health or safety emergency involves their son or daughter
- Schools may inform parents if the student is under age 21, has violated any law or policy concerning the use or possession of alcohol or of a controlled substance
- A school official may generally share with a parent information that is based on that official's personal knowledge or observation of the student
- May I view my child's grades, exams, or academic progress?
Final grades, grades on exams, and other information about academic progress are examples of the confidential information that makes up part of a student's educational record. This information is protected under FERPA and parents do not have access to it unless the student has provided express, written authorization.
- What about crisis or emergency situations?
If non-directory information is needed to resolve a crisis or emergency situation, an educational institution may release that information if the institution determines that the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.
- Whom should I contact with questions or concerns?
Send general questions, comments or suggestions to the registrar's office. For further information about FERPA, contact the Family Policy Compliance Office.
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-5920
For quick, informal responses to routine questions about FERPA, parents may also e-mail the Family Policy Compliance Office.