Student Privacy Rights

(The Daily Deac is on vacation and will return Tuesday, June 21.)

As we continue our look into frequently asked questions, today we’ll deal with student privacy rights.

Academic privacy – colleges are bound to uphold FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), which means we cannot reveal information about students without their permission.  This includes midterm and final grades, whether the student is on track to graduate, etc.  Students control that information, and they have to waive those rights.  Students can grant Proxy Access to a parent or family member, which then allows us to be able to talk to you about the student.  If it is important to you to have access to that information, talk to your son or daughter over the summer so you can come to an agreement about this.

Financial privacy – because of FERPA, bills for tuition and other fees go directly to the student, not the parent.  As with grades, students have to grant their parents or third parties access to their accounts.  The DEAC system is our financial system, and I strongly, strongly, strongly encourage students to set up their parents or guardians on DEAC.  If your student does not, and is not in the habit of checking his/her email (0r a bill rolls to spam), he/she could miss out on registering for classes, etc.

Medical privacy – students over the age of 18 are protected by HIPAA privacy rule, which ensures the confidentiality of a patient’s medical information.  Students who are seen at the Health Service are the controllers of their health information; except in life threatening situations, the Student Health Service cannot share health information with parents, friends, professors, or deans, without the students’ permission.  So if you want to be able to talk to a doctor or nurse in the event your student is ill while at school, be sure to talk to your student now about granting permission to speak to you or signing consent forms if he/she presents with an illness.

You want to have these conversations now, and not when your student is at Student Health with strep throat, or when you want to see his/her grades, etc.

— by Betsy Chapman

Categories: campus life