Breaking the (FERPA) News to Parents

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“Just because you send your child to college and pay all the bills doesn’t mean you have any right to see their grades or anything,” a parent of a college student recently told me bitterly. She was, of course, referring to regulations set forth by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the federal law that governs access to educational records. For college students, those rights belong to the students rather than their parents.
But for many parents, like the friend I spoke with recently, some FERPA regulations seem misguided. And for parents who are accustomed to being involved in their children’s schoolwork, finances and other affairs throughout high school — and often remain so in college — FERPA often doesn’t make sense.
If you work in a college or university business office, you’ve likely run into parents like this. In some cases, they may simply have a question about FERPA regulations; and others, they may be downright angry.
Helping parents and students understand and abide by FERPA regulations may not be easy, but it’s certainly doable. In the e-book: Why Today’s Parents Clash with FERPA and Best Practices for Communicating with them, we offer seven best practices for communicating with today’s parents about FERPA regulations.
Hint: The earlier you start talking about it, the better off you’ll be. And appealing to parents’ practical side by sharing how following the regulations can help their students develop into mature, responsible adults, can often work wonders.
By: Nancy Mann Jackson
Ferpa eBook - TMS

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