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Procedure No. 25-7
Date of Issue: 4/16/98

The Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended rules that when a student begins attending a college or university, the rights previously accorded to the parents shall be accorded to the student. While a student is in secondary school, the parents of that student have generally free access to information about their child. Once a child reaches the age of 18 or goes to college, however, the rights of the parent's to the information pass to the student.

The University may release information to the parents of a student, without the student's written consent, only if the student is a dependent as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The payment of a student's tuition by the parent does not, by itself, give the parent the right of access to a student's record.

The Office of Registration and Records may disclose information to parents of dependent children by one of the following procedures:

1. By obtaining the student's written consent. This would be in the form of a simple letter authorizing Registration and Records to disclose copies of scholastic and other records to his or her parent.

2. By submission of a copy of the first page of a parent's income tax return which shows that the requesting parent has indeed claimed the child/student as a dependent on the most recent tax return. we need to see only the front page of the return and the parent(s) may feel free to delete the actual financial information. In the alternative, and where the parents are divorced, we will accept a copy of a court decree (or a Settlement Agreement incorporated into the court decree) which gives one party or the other the right to claim a certain child as a dependent for income tax purposes.

The key under the law is that the child be claimed as a dependent and not have that a parent is assisting in the costs of education of the child.

Parents complying with one of the above procedures may have access to the records of their dependent children.