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FERPA FAQs - Parents

FERPA FAQs - Parents

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When your child was in elementary and high school, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gave you the right to access and control your child’s educational records. Once your child turns 18 or is in college, FERPA transfers ownership of the records directly to your child.

According to FERPA, college students (regardless of their age) own their own education information and are allowed to determine who will receive information about them. As a result, parents are not automatically granted access to a student’s records without written consent of the student.

Information regarding education records is best obtained by direct communication between the parent and the student. If your student is listed as a dependent on your tax returns, you can complete the Parental Access to Student Education Records Form to access their educational records. Keep in mind that you must complete this form each academic year that the student remains a dependent in order to continue access to their records.

If the student is not a dependent but still wishes to share their education record information with you, they can complete the complete the Permission to Release Education Record Information form online.

Additionally, parent(s) may be notified if a student under 21 years of age is found responsible for a violation involving use or possession of alcohol and drugs. FERPA regulations allow, but do not require, higher education institutions to provide notice to parents when a student violates federal, state, or local laws related to alcohol or drugs.

Some instructors may post progress grades in Canvas, which the student can check. Mid-term and final grades are posted on the Academics tab of the student’s One account. The student can also review final grades on their unofficial transcript in One.

Unless there is a release on file for you to get access to the student’s records, only the student can access their grade information, so you would need to ask your student about their grades. If there is a release form on file authorizing us to release your student’s grades to you at the end of each term, however, their transcript will be mailed to you as soon as possible after final grades are entered.

Students may provide parental access to their Bursar bill by adding them as an Authorized User. The student should log into their One account, go to the “Financial” tab, and click the “Add authorized users” link. Instructions to add an authorized user are available on the Bursar’s website.

In a crisis or emergency situation, the University may release a student’s information to persons whose involvement is necessary to deal with the situation if the institution determines that the release is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

Questions or Concerns

If you have any questions or concerns about FERPA law or OU’s FERPA policies, you may contact the Office of the Registrar or the Office of Legal Counsel.