Privacy Information for ParentsReturn to FERPA Introduction
Under FERPA, when a student reaches 18 years of age or enrolls at a postsecondary institution such as the University of Florida, the rights afforded to the parents of a student automatically transfer to the student. However, you still may have access to the education record if:
- The information requested is directory information and there is no privacy hold on the record.
- The information is released in response to a lawful subpoena
- You can demonstrate that the student is a dependent, as defined by the IRS
- The student provides a signed release to the university
To establish that your son/daughter is your dependent, you must demonstrate that the student in question was claimed as a dependent on your most recent tax return.
To access your son or daughter's academic record, you must have the Office of the University Registrar (222 Criser Hall; 352-392-1374) mail or fax you a Parent's Request for Nondirectory Information Release. You must provide the completed form and a copy of the first and last page of your most recent federal income tax return.
In order for these documents to support a claim of dependency, the first page must list the student as your dependent and the last page must be signed and dated; you can omit other financial information. The consent form and tax return will be imaged as part of the student's permanent education record. The IRS documentation must be provided annually for the university to continue to recognize the student as your dependent.
Information about grades are never provided over the phone. There are several options that may allow you to access your son or daughter's grades:
- The student may request a transcript for you or have one mailed to you. The charge is $6.00 per transcript for current students and $12 per transcript for former students.
- You may personally request a transcript after you provide appropriate documentation to the Office of the University Registrar that indicates the student is your dependent.
Enrollment verification may include directory and/or nondirectory information. If nondirectory information is provided, student consent is required. There are several options that may allow you access to enrollment verification for insurance purposes:
- The student may request an enrollment verification for you or have it mailed to you.
- Insurance companies, parents and students can also obtain enrollment verification directly from the National Student Clearinghouse, the university's authorized agent.
If you do not claim the student as your dependent, you may access directory information only, providing there is no privacy hold on the student's record.
As long as the underage student is enrolled at the university, you have no right to access your son or daughter's academic record unless you provide the appropriate documentation of the student's dependent status.
Both parents have equal rights to the student's record, unless there is a court order or legally binding document stating otherwise. Generally either parent can obtain access as long as one parent provides IRS documentation of the student's dependent status. If this is not possible and the parent who does not claim the student still wishes to have access, a court order will be necessary.
A notarized power of attorney must authorize access to education records specifically or be a general power of attorney, which covers any and all documents. If all legal requirements are met, the individual listed on the power of attorney will be treated in the same manner as would the student. Unless there is a stated expiration date, the power of attorney does not expire.
- My daughter is thinking about placing a privacy hold on her record. If she does, can I still have access to her UF record?
Yes. UF will provide access to directory and nondirectory information in your daughter's academic record if you are able to provide IRS documentation that she is your dependent. The university also will make a reasonable effort to notify her that you requested and received access to her record.
- You are concerned about your son's grades from last semester and wish to access his academic record. Can you do this?
Generally, if your son was claimed as a dependent on your most recent tax return, you can gain access to his grades, provided there are no other extenuating circumstances that supercede or limit your right to access his record. To do so, you must complete a Parent's Request for Nondirectory Information Release and provide a copy of the first and last page of your most recent tax return. The first page must list your son as a dependent and the last page must be signed and dated. You may omit any financial information.
- There is a family emergency and you need to contact your daughter immediately. Can you call the Office of the University Registrar and find out what class she is in?
No. Even if it's an emergency, the O.U.R. cannot provide you with your daughter's class schedule, since student schedules are not considered directory information at UF. You should contact the Dean of Students Office (202 Peabody Hall; 352-392-1261) for assistance.
These pages contain questions and information that address situations commonly faced by:
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