FERPA- Frequently Asked Questions
What is FERPA?
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) stipulates that the right to access educational records is transferred to a student once the student turns 18 or is attending any post-secondary educational institution. Students who wish their records to be released to a parent or third party must authorize the college in writing.
Why do I have limited access to my daughter or son's college records?
FERPA's primary purpose is to establish a uniform framework for access, review and correction of academic records at all schools nationwide. In primary and secondary educational institutions, FERPA grants these rights to the parent, but these rights are transferred exclusively to the student once they enter college.
What is considered an educational record?
FERPA covers a broad range of records. Educational records include any record maintained by the institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution that is related to the student (in whatever format or medium). Examples of student records entitled to FERPA protection include grades, transcripts, most disciplinary files, and billing records. FERPA does not cover counseling or medical records, but other laws do.
Does FERPA still apply if we are paying the bill?
Yes, FERPA regulations still apply even if the parents are paying the bills for tuition and fees. Before any verbal or written student account information can be released, the student must complete a "Student Billing Authorization to Release Information" form. Once this authorization is received, the Student Accounts staff will then be able to release information concerning student accounts billing and financial aid.
Where can I find more information about FERPA?
How does my student gain access to her/his grades?
Grades are made available to students via a secure web page approximately 12 days after the semester ends. Students who think their access to the internet during breaks will be limited are encouraged to go to the Registrar's Office to address an envelope to have the grades mailed to their home address.
Can I use my student's Kenyon network ID and password to access College records online?
No. The Principles and Rules of Behavior in the Student Handbook states that students should never lend their account access information to anyone else.
How can I make sure that college related bills are sent to me?
Beginning July 1, 2009 all student billing invoices will be mailed directly to the student at their home address. If the student wishes the Student Accounts Office to mail billing invoices to their parents or to a third party, the student must complete a "Student Billing Authorization to Release Information" form. When this authorization is received, the billing name and address will be changed accordingly.
Is there a single waiver that my son or daughter can sign so I can have access to all of their records?
Students can release information by filling out a FERPA release form and returning the form to the Registrar's Office. On the form, students choose which types of information to release to whom. The Authorization to Release Information form must be renewed annually by the student.
Will Kenyon contact me if my son or daughter is injured?
When Student Affairs staff members are informed that an injured or ill student is going to the local hospital, the staff member will accompany the student to the hospital and assist with the check-in procedures. The staff member will contact parents only with the student's permission or if there is a serious injury or illness that has rendered the student unable to consent. Students are highly encouraged to contact their parents/guardians and share this information on their own.
Does Kenyon inform parents when their student is seeing a College counselor or physician?
Kenyon administrators follow medical ethics and confidentiality laws (HIPAA), agree with the concept of treating all students as young adults. Students utilize the Health and Counseling Center to confront their issues and concerns knowing that counselors and health care professionals respect their privacy and confidentiality. If a student becomes a danger to him/herself or another person, the Student Affairs staff will notify parents and/or guardians.
Will I be informed if my son or daughter has disciplinary action taken against him or her?
Our judicial system adjudicates documented incidents involving students who have allegedly violated Kenyon policies. Each student is entitled to a fair hearing, the purpose of which is to determine the student's level of responsibility for any infraction of College policy. Most violations will not be reported to parents or guardians, but there are some occasions when parents and coaches will be informed. When a student is placed on disciplinary probation, or an underage student is held responsible for a serious violation of the alcohol and drug policy, a letter may be sent home to parents/guardians.
Will Kenyon notify me if my son or daughter is in academic jeopardy or placed on conditional enrollment (academic probation)?
Kenyon will not contact you about grades or academic performance during the semester. This information is made available only to students, their academic advisor, and the Dean of Academic Advising and Support. We suggest that you ask your student to keep you informed about his or her academic performance. If the College takes any formal academic action at the end of a semester that affects your student's academic standing, you will be copied on the letter sent home to the student.
Can I contact instructors or faculty advisors with questions about my son or daughter's academic progress?Faculty must abide by FERPA and will be unable to provide any specific grade information. If you are concerned about your student, however, it is good to share that information with the Dean of Academic Advising and Support.