FERPA for Families
FERPA’s primary purpose is to establish a uniform framework for access to, review of, and correction of academic records at all schools nationwide. In primary and secondary educational institutions, FERPA grants these rights to the parent, but these rights are transferred exclusively to the student once the student reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level (i.e. a postsecondary educational institution no matter the age of the student). Students who wish their records to be released to third parties such as a parent or spouse must authorize the university in writing or through the university portal.
It is important to know that FERPA regulations still apply even if the spouse or parents are paying the bill for tuition, fees, etc.
FERPA regulations protect a student’s “education records,” which include grades, finances, 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.
Due to issues of confidentiality as prescribed by FERPA, APU will not contact you about your student’s grades or academic performance. This information is made available only to students, their academic advisors, and other school officials who have a legitimate educational interest to know such information. We suggest that parents, spouses, or other interested parties ask the student directly for information about his/her academic performance. Medical, academic, and disciplinary information cannot be provided without the student’s written permission. In the case of an extreme emergency where the student’s health is in serious jeopardy, or if there is a concern that the student poses a threat to themself or to someone else, the university will make contact with the student’s emergency contact. As a general guideline, if the student is able to communicate about the situation, it is up to the student to decide whether and how to discuss the issues.
In order to release information to parents or other third parties, students must give their authorization. They can do so by logging in to their home.apu.edu account, clicking on My Information in the lefthand menu, then clicking on FERPA Authorization and following the on-screen instructions to authorize specific individuals to receive information and indicate the kind of information that can be shared.