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FERPA Frequently Asked Questions for Parents

Do I have a right to access my son’s or daughter’s records?
At the university level, parents have no inherent rights to access or inspect their son's or daughter's education records unless the student is a dependent as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. If the student is not a dependent, records may be released to parents only if they have been given a written release by the student or to be in compliance with a subpoena.

Students may grant their parents (or others) permission to access their educational records by filing a Consent to Release Student Information form with the Student Administrative Services Center. Authorization remains in effect until rescinded by the student in writing.

Alternatively, parents or guardians who wish to obtain access to their student's education records may file a Request for Release of Education Records form with the Student Administrative Services Center. This form must be filed annually with the University of Hartford because tax dependency status can change from year to year.

May I receive grades and progress reports?
Such things as progress in a course, deficiencies in a subject area, scores and grades on papers, and exams are examples of personally identifiable information that makes up part of the student's education record. This information is protected under FERPA, and parents may not have access to it unless the student has provided written authorization that specifically identifies what information may be released to the parents, or unless the parents have filed a Verification of Tax Dependency form with the University of Hartford.

Since I am paying the bill, may I have access to my son's or daughter’s student financial account?
As in the case of grades and progress reports, a student’s financial account is protected information under FERPA. The student must authorize access to this information unless the parent has provided verification that the student is a dependent for tax purposes.

What about crisis situations or emergencies?
If nondirectory information is needed to resolve a crisis or emergency situation, an education institution may release that information if the institution determines that the information is "necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals." This includes releasing information to school officials at another institution. A record must be made of the disclosure.

Whom do I contact with questions or concerns?
General questions, comments, or suggestions may be directed to the University registrar, Natalie Durant, ndurant@hartford.edu.