The Student Employment Office interacts with student's parents to foster each student's growth academically and professionally. However, there are some limitations when communicating certain information to parents.
Pepperdine University is concerned about the privacy of your student's records. When your student was in elementary and high school, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gave you and your student rights to access and control your student's educational records. Now that your student is enrolled in a university, these same laws transfer ownership of the records directly to your son or daughter.
According to FERPA, college students, regardless of their age, are considered responsible adults and are allowed to determine who will receive information about them. While parents understandably have an interest in a student's academic progress, they are not automatically granted access to a student's records without written consent of the student. Parents are encouraged to consult with the student if academic information is needed.
We have provided the following answers to frequently asked questions to clarify elements of FERPA.
FERPA requires that access to a college student's records must be granted by approval of the student. You can, however, receive information about your student if you submit proof that he/she is a dependent. Contact the Office of the University Registrar for information regarding this process. Students can sign a release form to grant you access to financial information. This form is included in the student's bill.
FERPA regulations protect a student's "education records," which include grades, finances, payroll records, and discipline records. Physical and mental health records are covered by other University policies, federal law, and professional ethics. In general, professionals working in these areas will not release student information except in emergency situations. Your son or daughter can choose to release information from these records to a third party, but this is done on a case-by-case basis. Each student can talk to the practitioner or the records office in the Student Health Center related to medical records or the University Counseling Center for counseling records; to the Dean of Students Office for discipline records; or to Residence Life for housing information.
The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for overseeing FERPA. See the Department's Web site for additional information: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/.