FERPA Article Photos

Accessing Student Records

FERPA for Parents

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. While FERPA provides parents with certain rights with respect to their children’s education records, once a student reaches the age of 18 or attends a post-secondary institution (at any age), those rights transfer exclusively to the student.

May I view my child’s grades, exams or academic progress?

Final grades, grades on exams, and other information about academic progress are examples of the confidential information that makes up part of the student’s educational record. This information is protected under FERPA and parents do not have access to it unless the student has provided written consent or if the parent(s) have obtained a lawfully issued subpoena or court order. 

But I’m the one paying the tuition! Surely, I have a right to see my child’s grades, class schedule, and/or receive the bill!

As stated above, once a student reaches the age of 18 or attends a post-secondary institution at any age, you have no inherent right to inspect your child’s education records in the absence of a written consent, lawfully issued subpoena, or court order. 

You may, however, receive access to your child’s education records maintained by BGSU if you provide evidence to the Registrar’s Office that you claimed the student as a financial dependent on your most recent Federal Income Tax form. FERPA provides that the University may release information but is not required to do so. 

Ordinarily, parents of BGSU students obtain information about their child’s records directly from their child. 

What about crises or emergency situations?

If non-directory information is needed in a crisis or emergency situation, an educational 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. An educational institution may also disclose to parents any violation of the use or possession of drugs or alcohol by students under twenty-one.  An important note here is that the law allows but does not require such information to be released to parents.

Whom should I contact with questions or concerns? 

Direct general questions and send any comments or concerns to the Office of Registration & Records at 419-372-8441 or registrar@bgsu.edu. Their office is also open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday-Friday and located at 227 Bowen-Thompson Student Union.