The preferred method for parents to find out how a student is doing is by communicating directly with the student. However, there are times when it is helpful or important for parents to speak with Academic Advisors, Resident Deans, Directors and other members of the campus.
At the same time, the College is required to maintain compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is a federal law that affords students who have entered a postsecondary institution (eligible students) the right to have access to their education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records. Before the age of 18, or the student’s attendance at a postsecondary institution, these rights belong to parents or legal guardians.
Even though FERPA rights transfer to students in attendance at LC, the College may disclose information from an “eligible student’s” education records to the parents of the student if, for example, either of the following criteria is met:
A student voluntarily consents to allow the College to release information. To do this, students must sign, date, and submit the Disclosure of Educational Records to Parents, Guardians & Others to the Registrar’s Office (or through the New Student Onboarding Portal).
A student is identified as a dependent for tax purposes. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then education records and information therefrom may be disclosed to either parent (whether custodial or not). To certify this status with the College, parents can complete the top portion of the Authorization to Release Student Account and Education Information. If a student’s signature is not included, then a copy of the first page of the most recent year’s tax return must be attached (please feel free to black-out any social security number, income amounts, or other sensitive information).
FERPA Terms & Frequently Asked Questions
FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that affords parents the right to have access to their children’s education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records. When a student turns 18 years old, or attends a postsecondary institution at any age, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student (“eligible student”). The FERPA statute is found at 20 U.S.C. §1232g and the FERPA regulations are found at 34 CFR Part 99. Please see additional FERPA information at the U.S. Department of Education website.
Education Record: Any record that contains information directly related to a student that is maintained by the institution. This includes, but is not limited to, grade information, disciplinary records, and billing and financial aid data.
Certain records, such as records of law enforcement/security units, records made or maintained by health services or counseling professionals, and records that only contain information about an individual after he or she is no longer a student at the institution, are not considered “education records” for FERPA purposes.
Directory Information: Information included in a student’s education records, the disclosure of which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy. At Landmark College, “directory information” includes but is not limited to the following: a student’s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees, honors and awards received, email addresses, electronic or photographic images of a student, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended. If a student does not wish to have directory information disclosed without consent, s/he must so inform the Registrar in writing within 10 days of the start of any semester.
How does a student voluntarily give their parents or guardians access to the information contained in their education record? Students must sign, date and submit the Authorization to Release Student Account and Education Information Form to the Dean of Students Office (it can be faxed to 802.387.6703).
How long will the waiver be in effect?
Consent will remain in effect until the student submits a notification in writing revoking his/her consent.
How do students revoke their consent to release information?
Students may submit a notification in writing, at any time, directing the College to no longer release information to their parent(s) or guardian(s). This written notification must be submitted to the Dean of Students Office. (Note: If a parent or other eligible individual has established that they are claiming the student as a dependent for tax purposes, then the student cannot revoke the release of information … see below).
Do parents or guardians of college students have the right to see their children’s education records? Does it make a difference if they are paying the tuition?
Landmark College may disclose information from an “eligible student’s” education records to the parents of the student, without the student’s consent, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes. Neither the age of the student nor the parent’s status as a custodial parent is relevant. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then either parent may have access under this provision.
Is an Authorization Form needed if a student and family members have an appointment with faculty or staff to review the student’s academic progress (like on Family Weekend)?
Yes. By signing the consent form, students give the College authority to share information contained in their education records to their parent or guardian. FERPA does not allow for information to be released on the assumption that if the student is in the room, he/she has necessarily given consent.
Please feel free to contact Michael Luciani, Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Campus Life, at 802-387-6713 or at email@example.com.