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Office of the Registrar

FERPA Scenario Q&A

Question:  A student's parent calls asking how the student is doing in class.  Can you release this information?

Answer: No.  Even though the person inquiring may be the student's parent, FERPA recognizes students in post-secondary education as adults, regardless of age. Therefore, unless the student is a dependent as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, you cannot give out a grade or any other non-directory information without written consent from the student.

* General Rule: You must assume that the student is an adult who is entitled to privacy, even from parents. Parents may assert their rights to the records if the student is dependent according to the federal tax code.

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