The essentials of student records and privacy

It's common for family members to be curious about how you’re doing in college. After all, they are your biggest cheerleaders, and your family can be an extremely helpful support system as you transition to the University. Some of you may feel comfortable sharing detailed information about how you’re doing academically, while others may not. It’s a very individual decision, and you’re in the driver’s seat.
The advising experience is intended to be between the advisor and student. We want you to feel comfortable and empowered to share your academic successes and challenges in a safe environment where the conversation is driven by you. Therefore, advisors encourage students to come to appointments without family members. We understand that this can be a big step, but it’s an integral one in taking ownership of your experience at the University. If you wish to share the information with your family after you meet with an advisor that is entirely your choice.

Your academic records, including interactions with your advisor, are protected under a law called FERPA (Family Education Rights Privacy Act). Per FERPA guidelines, the only items that can be shared with outside parties are directory information. However, you also have the option of suppressing your directory under the “My Info” tab in MyU. If you choose to allow access to your records, you must follow the proper steps to provide consent.

Keep in mind that there are many ways for your family unit to stay in the loop without having full access to your records. Examples include the Academic Advising Blog and the University of Minnesota’s Parent Program. It’s important to inform them of these resources and to have an open dialogue about what you prefer.

If you have questions about student record policies or FERPA, follow up with your advisor. We are always happy to provide clarification.