The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a U.S. federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. FERPA protects your student’s rights by ensuring we don’t release any information to anyone without their consent; that includes you, as parents and family. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, students’ academic records, including but not limited to: transcripts, class schedules, grades, and discipline records, are confidential. Parents or guardians may have access to the information in these records ONLY if their student signs and dates a consent waiver (Proxy Form) that specifies which records may be disclosed.
Students at the University of New Mexico are treated as adults and are expected to assume responsibility for their own actions. This includes keeping family members informed of their concerns and issues. Read below for more information about FERPA and how to stay informed about your student’s educational experience.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protects the privacy of student records. It was designed to:
- Allow students who are at least 18 or attend postsecondary institution access to their educational records.
- Limit the transferability of a student’s records without the individual’s consent.
This means, unlike high school, you will not have direct access to the above records without your student’s consent. Your student may grant third-party access to their educational records by completing a Student Information Proxy Release Form (Proxy Form) available from the Office of the Registrar. Proxy forms must be renewed annually.
As a family member, not having direct access to information about your student can feel very frustrating. To help balance between helping your student develop independence and following their progress at UNM, it’s often best to regularly engage your student in conversations such as:
- Tell me about your roommate…
- Have you met your professors and gone to their office hours?
- How are classes going?
- Who do you hang out with?
- Are you meeting with your advisor?
Remember to set some realistic expectations for your student. By maintaining an active dialogue with your student, you play an important role in providing support during a challenging time of transition.