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Release of the Educational Record of a Dependent Student

  • Responsible Office: Records and Registration, Strategic Enrollment Management, Office of the Provost
  • Current Approved Version: 03/23/2018
  • Policy Type: Board of Visitors

Policy Statement and Purpose

In accordance with the Code of Virginia, Section 23.1-1303.5, Virginia Commonwealth University has developed a policy and implementing procedures requiring the release of the educational record of a dependent student, as defined by 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g, to a parent at the student’s request.

Noncompliance with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. VCU supports an environment free from retaliation. Retaliation against any employee who brings forth a good faith concern, asks a clarifying question, or participates in an investigation is prohibited.

Who Should Know This Policy

Employees (includes faculty), students and parents

Definitions

Dependent Student

A student who is claimed for federal income tax purposes as a dependent by the student’s parents.

Educational Records

The term “educational records” is a term of art in FERPA, defined as “those records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student; and are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a person acting for such agency or institution.”

FERPA

FERPA is the acronym for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which was originally enacted in 1974 as a part of a bill extending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and has been amended over the years. The purpose of the Act is two-fold: to assure parents of enrolled students’ access to their education records; and, to protect such individuals’ right to privacy by limiting the transferability of their records without their consent. Parents transfer their rights under FERPA to their child when he or she “has attained eighteen years of age or is attending an institution of postsecondary education.”

Contacts

The Office of Strategic Enrollment Management, Records and Registration officially interprets this policy. The Office of Records and Registration is responsible for obtaining approval for any revisions as required by the policy Creating and Maintaining Policies and Procedures through the appropriate governance structures. Please direct policy questions to the Office of Strategic Enrollment Management, Records and Registration.

Policy Specifics and Procedures

In accordance with the Code of Virginia, Section 23.1-1303.5, the educational record of a dependent student will be released to parent(s) upon request provided either the parent(s) submits evidence that the parent(s) declare the student as a dependent on their most recent federal income tax forms or the student consents to the release of the educational record to the parent(s).

1. Parents

Parent(s) must complete the FERPA Parent Consent Form Parent FERPA Consent to Release Student Information and submit (1) the completed form, (2) a copy of the most recent year’s tax return listing the student as a dependent, and (3) a copy of a valid government issued identification card or passport to the Office of Records and Registration, Financial Aid or Student Accounting.

The FERPA Parent Consent Form Parent FERPA Consent to Release Student Information can be found online from the Office of Records and Registration website or by contacting that office. Once received, the academic record or information will be released and the consent form will be scanned and filed for history.

2. Students

Students should complete a FERPA Consent to Release Student Information form to allow parent(s) access to their educational record. Consent forms not submitted in person with proper ID are required to be notarized.

Forms

  1. Parent FERPA Consent to Release Student Information
  2. Student FERPA Consent to Release Student Information

Related Documents

  1. Rights of Students under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  2. Code of Virginia, Section 23.1-1303.5
  3. 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g

Revision History

This policy supersedes the following archived policies:

Approval/Revision DateTitle
11/20/2008 Release of the Educational Record of a Dependent Student
08/26/2015 Release of the Educational Record of a Dependent Student

FAQ

There are no FAQ associated with this policy and procedures.