Once your child turns eighteen, or attends school beyond secondary school, you’ll no longer be privy to parent portals, report cards or attendance records. So you can’t count on checking up on your child’s college grades, attendance and assignments from home anymore.
When your son or daughter was in high school, FERPA [Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] gave both you and your student access to their academic records. But there’s been a transfer of ownership since your child has flown the coop: now this information is solely in their hands. And that’s regardless of who’s footing the bill for their education. Read the detailed FERPA brochure for more information.
Accessing your college kid’s student records
Now that you know this, are you considering a call to their professors? Don’t do it. They won’t be able to release any academic information such as college grades or academic standing without written consent from your student. Some colleges do, however, have a waiver form on file that your college kid can fill out to allow their student records to be released to you.
There are exceptions to this rule: Schools may disclose academic records and education info to you if your student is a dependent for income tax purposes, or if they’re involved in a health or safety emergency. But that’s pretty much it. While this may be a bit frustrating, you need to remember that your college kid is a responsible adult who’s capable of deciding who should—and should not—receive access to their confidential information.
Talk to your college kid about their college grades
It makes sense that you’d be interested in your college kid’s academic progress, but the best way to find out how they’re doing in school is simply to ask. Just talk about it and trust that they’re on track. You’ll get more information about their college grades this way than you would by going behind their back—we guarantee it.