Release of Information to Parents of Students

The Family Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended was designed to guarantee the privacy of students’ educational records. As the custodian of these records, Bradley University subscribes to the intent of the law, and procedures have been established to comply with it.

One of the stipulations set forth in the Act deals with the release of student information to their parents. While a student is in secondary school, the parents of that student generally have access to information about their child. When a child reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a college or university, the rights previously accorded to the parents pass to the student.

Records may be released to parents only if one of the following conditions has been met:

  1. Through the written consent of the student. A release form may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar and requires the signature of the student. This is a one-time release only.
  2. In compliance with a subpoena, and
  3. By submission of evidence that the parent(s) declared the student as a dependent on their most recent federal income tax form and at the discretion of the institution.

The University may release information to the parents of a student, without the student's written consent, only if the student is a dependent as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, and the Tax Reform Act of 1976.

Parents may submit a copy of the first page of a parent's latest federal income tax statement which shows that the requesting parent has indeed claimed the child/student as a dependent on the most recent tax return. Only the front page of the return is needed and the parent(s) may feel free to delete the actual financial information. In the alternative, and where the parents are divorced, we will accept a copy of a court decree (or a Settlement Agreement incorporated into the court decree) which gives one party or the other the right to claim a certain child as a dependent for income tax purposes.

The key under the law is that the child be claimed as a dependent and not that a parent is assisting in the costs of education of the child.

The Act also states that an educational institution shall give full rights under the Act to either parent, unless the institution has been provided evidence that there is a court order, State Statute, or legally binding document governing such matters as divorce, separation or custody, that specifically revokes these rights. [Authority: 20 U. S. C 1232g]

The University will notify the student that their parent(s) have complied with one of the above procedures and that they may have access to the records of their dependent child.