Why Can’t I See My Student’s Grades?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects your college student’s privacy and grants them the exclusive right to view and share their education records such as grades, transcripts, disciplinary records, contact information, and class schedules. Under the law, colleges and universities may not disclose education records to anyone other than the student.

FERPA’s restrictions often frustrate parents, especially parents who pay for tuition. But, as College Parents of America suggests, “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.”

While working within the restrictions of FERPA, support your student in taking personal responsibility for their transcript and financial obligations. Although this legislation restricts parents from involvement in many ways, it also empowers students to become independent. Encourage your student to be aware of their rights, which will help them take ownership over their education.

Key Things to Remember about FERPA

1. Colleges and universities cannot disclose academic information to parents without written consent from the student.
2. Do not be frustrated by the law. Use it as an opportunity to help your student develop independence.
3. Support your student academically throughout the year and not just when grades are released.