Policy on the Release of Information

Parent and Family Relations encourages families to have ongoing communication with their undergraduate student. Discussions may include grades, interpersonal relationships, research and internships opportunities. Often, families are interested in learning their student's grades. If you have already discussed grades and academic progress or difficulty with your student and are seeking additional information, please see the Information Release Policy below. 

We welcome communication from the parents and guardians of our students. Our aim is to be as responsive as possible within legal guidelines. Our policies of communication about students are both informed and constrained by federal legislation.

Grade Release Policy

The policy of the College is to release grade information to parents when permitted by law, unless the student objects and/or disclosure would not be in the student's best interest in the judgment of the College.

Federal law (FERPA) generally prohibits a school's disclosure of grades without the student's consent. However, schools may, but are not required to, disclose academic information to the parents of students who can be claimed as dependents under federal tax laws.

The College will generally honor written (not emailed), signed requests by students to release their grades to parents or other persons specified. Signed, written (not emailed) grade requests by parents of undergraduates will also generally be honored; however, the College may deny a request if the student objects or if the dean decides that disclosure is not in the student's best interest, or if the student cannot be claimed as a dependent.

Academic Matters

Students have access to their grades online; paper copies of grade reports are not sent either to students or parents. However, parents may request grades for students under the age of 21 by sending a signed request to the registrar. The College sends copies of letters concerning academic probation to the parents of students who are not yet 21 years old.

Judicial Action or Improper Conduct

The College does not routinely inform families about student disciplinary action. Exceptions to this are if:

  • There is a perceived significant risk to a student or to others
  • A change of status has been put in effect 
  • A first year student has a change of residence for disciplinary reasons

Students may grant access to their disciplinary files by signing a release. This is a standard option for all students involved in disciplinary action.

The University of Rochester complies fully with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g. FERPA requires, with certain limited exceptions, that the student's consent must be obtained before disclosing any personally identifiable information in the student's education records. One such exception is disclosure [of grades] to parents of dependent students.

Health and Counseling

The relationship between the University Health Service providers and their patients is confidential. Notification of others, including parents, friends, and University faculty and administrators is considered the student's responsibility, unless the situation is serious and the student is unable to assume responsibility for informing others. Parental notification and consent will be obtained for students under age 18, as required by law. Visit University Health Service for more information.

All contact with the University Counseling Center therapists is confidential. The fact that a student is using UCC will not be disclosed to any University official or faculty member, or to family, friends, or roommates, without permission of the student, except in very specific circumstances. Those circumstances are limited to instances when a student’s life or that of another person is in danger. Visit University Counseling Center for more information.

These policies are part of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Regulations (HIPAA). This federal law regulates how hospitals and physicians can report information about their patients. It has significant impact on our ability to communicate information about students receiving health care while in college.

The College's aim is to be as helpful and responsive to students and their families as the law will allow. We have therefore encouraged College personnel (coaches, area directors, deans etc.) to make every effort to communicate with or to accompany students in the Emergency Department to provide the extra support and care often needed when students are away from home.

Because we cannot guarantee being able to inform families when a student's health and safety is affected, it is our policy actively to encourage the student to contact his or her family and friends directly and immediately.