The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, also referred to as the Buckley Amendment) is a federal law that affords students certain rights regarding access and release of their education records.
When children are enrolled in elementary, middle, and high school, FERPA gives the student and his or her parents the right to access and control the release of the student's education records. When the student enrolls at a college or university, these rights transfer directly to the student. Why? Because FERPA considers college students responsible adults and allows them to determine who will receive information from their education records. While parents naturally have an interest in their son or daughter's academic progress (and may even be paying for their education), they are not automatically granted access to their records.
The quickest, easiest way for you to receive information about your student's grades or other student information is to ask your student to provide it to you. Students have access to most student information through Georgia College & State University's Unify portal, which provides online access to transcripts, schedules, grades, and degree audits from anywhere in the world. Financial aid records and student bills are also available through this portal. Some students print or e-mail needed information from the portal to their parents. Some students and their parents also make appointments to log-in together at regular intervals (i.e., when the student is home on semester breaks) to review the student's records. Students may also provide the University with a release to share information on an as-needed basis directly with parents or other third parties.
You can also receive information about your child if you submit proof that he/she is your dependent as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Section 152. We strongly recommend that parents first request the information from their student and use this method of obtaining information only in unusual or special situations. To make this request, contact the Office of the Registrar for a copy of the Parental Affidavit for Student Information form, complete it, attach a copy of your most recent federal tax form, and return it by mail or fax to the Office of the Registrar. This documentation must be provided every time a request for information is made, and any charges that apply to the release of information will be assessed. Students will be notified each time their parents submit a Parental Affidavit for Student Information.
Questions concerning this law and the University's procedures regarding release of academic information may be directed to the Registrar's Office at 478-445-6286 or Legal Affairs at 478-445-2037.
The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for overseeing FERPA. See the Department's Web site for additional information.