Students have sole rights to their education records under FERPA
Students enrolled in university coursework, regardless of age, hold all legal rights to their education records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which is a federal law that governs access to education records. Parents do not have the right to access, view, or modify student records at the university level, even for students who are concurrently enrolled in high school or under the age of 18, and even if parents help pay for the student to attend. Grades, attendance, and financial aid information are all considered non-directory information, meaning they cannot be shared without the student’s prior written consent.
Our goal is to teach students how to be responsible for their own educational progress. While we do have a Student Information Release Form that allows students to grant third parties including parents access to their records, the University will still expect students to be the primary point of contact. Federal law under FERPA requires caution on the part of universities because third-party releases are only valid when students have signed them free of any parental influence or coercion, which is difficult to guarantee. Legal precedent suggests that releases signed with parents' help or presence at the time of signing may be successfully challenged in court. A release does not waive the FERPA rights, and the student always maintains the primary legal rights to their record, so best practices are to deal directly with the student whenever possible. By modeling this independent responsibility now, parents are preparing their students to be proactive, accountable, and successful here at the university.
Parental Information for Concurrent Enrollment Students
Dual enrollment programs such as Concurrent Enrollment (CE) and Early College provide high school students the unique experience of participating in university courses before graduation. Among the many benefits of this experience is the opportunity for students to learn the responsibility and autonomy necessary for college success and degree completion. Because CE courses are university courses, even if the courses are taught at the high school or by a high school teacher, the students are the record owners rather than the parents, the high school, or the school district. Students have the sole right to access records related to university coursework.
Since CE and Early College students are college students, our expectation is that students will maintain the responsibility for their records and college coursework. Students should be the primary point of contact when interacting with Weber State, including when registering for classes, keeping up with coursework, working with instructors and advisors, and tracking grades and GPA. Parents should expect to maintain a support role rather than a primary role for students who are enrolled in CE or Early College. Parents are welcome to attend advising appointments and program meetings at the invitation of their student.
How can students release educational records to their parents or other individuals?
Weber State provides a Student Information Release Form in the eWeber portal that allows students to grant third parties consent to view or update their educational records. With the Student Information Release form, students can give permission for Weber State to release FERPA-protected information to other individuals.