Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), all rights of access to a student’s educational records transfer to the student him- or herself when the student reaches age 18 or the student attends a post-secondary institution. FERPA allows, but does not require, a postsecondary institution to disclose personally identifiable information from a student’s educational records to parents if either parent claims the student as a dependent on the most recent income tax statement.
It is our policy in the Office of Undergraduate Studies to share restricted information with the parents of students enrolled at Case Western Reserve University as undergraduates, and who are not also high school students, only upon receiving a written release from the student. Even in those cases, we will suggest that this be a three-way conversation, including the parents, the student, and the appropriate person from Undergraduate Studies. We take this position because of the importance we place on maintaining a relationship of trust with our students so that we may advise and guide them most effectively. We also want to ensure that all parties hear the same information.
FERPA also allows sharing information with parents in the case of a health or safety emergency and other limited exceptions. In such cases, the Office of Undergraduate Studies will work with the Division of Student Affairs to determine what information to share with parents.
The U.S. Department of Education provides additional guidance for parents about FERPA at ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/parents.html.
Please visit the University Registrar's web site for additional FERPA guidelines that may be helpful for students and parents.