Parent Access to Student Records
One area of the law that generates confusion is the right of a parent to access student record information. If the student is not a dependent for tax purposes (and this may be the case with many graduate students), the parent has no right to access student record information about the child unless the parent has the child’s written permission. Parents stand in the same shoes as any outside party in this situation. Affidavits of parental claims and records of student permission are maintained in the Admissions & Records Office.
If a student is claimed by a parent as a dependent for income tax purposes, then the student record information may be released at the discretion of the University to the parent as long as a notarized affidavit, along with a copy of the relevant page from the parent’s most recent income tax return indicating the student’s dependent status, is provided to the university. Affidavits must be updated annually; otherwise, prior written permission from the student is required. Full rights are given to either parent, regardless of who claims the child as a dependent, unless the institution has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, state statute, or legally binding document limiting those rights such as divorce, separation or custody orders.
FERPA | Major Concepts in FERPA | Who is a Student | What is an Education Record? | Exceptions | FERPA Recognized Exceptions |
Legitimate Educational Interests | Records not Protected by FERPA | General Rule: | Disclosure of Education Records |
Releasing Records | Who is a School Official | Confidential Records | "Keeper" of the Record | Parent Access to Student Record | Important Note | Email and Computer Guidelines | Summary | Warnings Against Non-Compliance | Additional Resources |