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Parent Access to Grades

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Settle a disagreement:

 

Person 1 says that you cannot have access to your child's college information (grades/etc) unless the child grants you access, regardless of whether or not you are paying the tuition.

 

Person 2 says that if you are the one paying the tuition, of course you have access to that information.

 

 

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The grades are between the college and the student. Now, you might as a tuition-payer have an agreement with the student to give you access to grades, but the college will not be involved in that.

If a student is paying with loans, does the bank get to see the grades? Of course not. And the college doesn't care who pays the bills, as long as they're paid.

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I depends on the school.

 

When my son went to the local CC, I did not have access to his grades (even though he was under 18).  He had to sign something allowing me access. 

 

The school he is attending now sends the parents a report card each semester.  If the student doesn't want that he has to file some document with the school.  

 

ETA:  My son knows that he must share his grades with us if we are paying his tuition.  

Edited by EKS

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I depends on the school.

 

When my son went to the local CC, I did not have access to his grades (even though he was under 18).  He had to sign something allowing me access. 

 

The school he is attending now sends the parents a report card each semester.  If the student doesn't want that he has to file some document with the school.  

 

Can I ask what kind of school that is?  State/private/Christian?

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Can I ask what kind of school that is?  State/private/Christian?

 

Private.

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IMNSHO...

 

The school should never release grades to anyone other than the student.

 

However...I also believe that the person paying should be able to see them.

 

So, if student doesn't show his tuition paying parent his grades, parent doesn't pay tuition anymore.

 

 

 

 

I don't pay my DD20's tuition.  I don't want to see her grades.  I want to know that she's doing well enough to not get kicked out, but beyond that...she's in charge of it.  She knows what she needs to keep her scholarship, she's in change of managing that, not me. 

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As parents, we paid tuition to both the local public Community College and the private 4-year Christian University.

Stated policy of both schools was to NOT allow access to grades to anyone except the student. The student had to sign a waiver to allow parent access.

Some of the Community College was done as dual enrollment before the student was 18yo. Same policy applied.

 

For the dual enrollment, I did request access and DSs were happy to comply. Actually, they were fine with me having access through their college years at the Community College, although I didn't ask and didn't feel any need to be in the midst of their paperwork. ;) For the son who went on to the 4-year Christian University, we never asked, as we felt that as an adult living on campus several hours away from home he really needed to be completely responsible for his own paperwork.

Edited by Lori D.

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The scenario in question involved a student at a public uni that basically moved into the dorm and didn't attend classes after that.  He failed all his courses.  The parents were paying the tuition, but whenever they asked him how things were going he said fine.  Parents were being criticized because "if the son didn't show them the grades, they should have been down at the college demanding to see them" - demanding that the college show them, in other words.  

 

I argued that wouldn't happen, if the son refused for the parents to see the grades, the college was not going to override the son and show them.  The counterargument was that of course they would, the parents are paying the bill.  If that wasn't allowed, it must just be in my state. ;)

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Some of the Community College was done as dual enrollment before the student was 18yo. Same policy applied.

 

For the dual enrollment, I did request access and DSs were happy to comply. Actually, they were fine with me having access through their college years at the Community College.

I think for dual enrollment where the student is both a high school and a college student, the parents SHOULD have access to the grades.  Because the student is still a high school student.  That, IMO, is a different ball game.  The grade is not just a college grade, but a high school grade that might be important to the student's ability to graduate.  Generally one might assume that anyone able to handle a college level class in high school would of course be smart enough to be getting good grades, but that's not always the case.

 

 

 

Parents were being criticized because "if the son didn't show them the grades, they should have been down at the college demanding to see them" - demanding that the college show them, in other words.

This sounds like the opinion who has the mistaken believe that just because person A pays for something, that automatically makes person A the CONSUMER of something.  When I go to the dentist, the insurance company might be paying but I am most definitely the consumer.   In the case of college, regardless of who is paying, the consumer is the student.  As such, the college (aka the producer) only has to answer to the consumer.

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Nope.  Grades are strictly between the school and the student, unless specifically documented otherwise.  I know at our school, we'd get in deep trouble if we allowed someone other than the student access to grades/transcript without a written request.  It didn't matter who paid the bills.

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Nope.  Grades are strictly between the school and the student, unless specifically documented otherwise.  I know at our school, we'd get in deep trouble if we allowed someone other than the student access to grades/transcript without a written request.  It didn't matter who paid the bills.

 

At the state schools where I've worked, that's how it goes. No matter what, I can't even intimate about the grades to a parent or guardian unless the paper is signed. I can't even say if the student has been turning in homework or attending class.

 

They actually tell us to tell the parents to ask their student one more time and then send the parents to the records people to handle it, period. If the student won't show them the grades and won't sign the paper, too bad.

 

I've had parents call and email threatening to "make sure I'll never work again in this state as a professor" unless I told them.  Nada. One parent threatened to sue me and ended up in the president's office with their lawyer in tow. Thankfully it blew over.

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Look up FERPA.   That's usually why schools say parents can't have access but there are exceptions.  From US Department of Education FAQ about FERPA:

 

 If I am a parent of a college student, do I have the right to see my child's education records, especially if I pay the bill?
 

As noted above, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student, once the student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age. However, although the rights under FERPA have now transferred to the student, a school may disclose information from an "eligible student's" education records to the parents of the student, without the student's consent, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes. Neither the age of the student nor the parent's status as a custodial parent is relevant. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then either parent may have access under this provision. (34 CFR § 99.31(a)(8).)

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Settle a disagreement:

 

Person 1 says that you cannot have access to your child's college information (grades/etc) unless the child grants you access, regardless of whether or not you are paying the tuition.

 

Person 2 says that if you are the one paying the tuition, of course you have access to that information.

 

Person 2 is right but not correct in how it works, exactly.  If you are paying tuition, you should have access to grades, but the child has to grant that access.    If you are paying for it, you get to see how your dollars are being used. 

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I think for dual enrollment where the student is both a high school and a college student, the parents SHOULD have access to the grades.  Because the student is still a high school student.  That, IMO, is a different ball game.  The grade is not just a college grade, but a high school grade that might be important to the student's ability to graduate.  Generally one might assume that anyone able to handle a college level class in high school would of course be smart enough to be getting good grades, but that's not always the case.

 

 

This sounds like the opinion who has the mistaken believe that just because person A pays for something, that automatically makes person A the CONSUMER of something.  When I go to the dentist, the insurance company might be paying but I am most definitely the consumer.   In the case of college, regardless of who is paying, the consumer is the student.  As such, the college (aka the producer) only has to answer to the consumer.

 

The insurance company is not paying. You are paying, through the insurance company.  You paid that bill and bought that insurance product. 

Sure, the one taking the class is the student, but the parent has the right to see that the student is living up to the obligation, in my view. 

 

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The student has to sign a proxy or waiver in order for the parent(s) to be able to see grades.  Or at least that's what we were told at orientation.

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I don't even have access to my 14 year old's grades because that is the school's policy.  Which I think is ok;. 

 

I guess if one's kid refuses you could also refuse to give them any money. 

 

My parents never asked to see my grades (they were not paying), but they would not have dreamed of doing so.  I did show them though. 

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My school requires FERPA forms for anyone other than the student to have access to grades. I know how to get into ds's account and look at grades (which I did with his permission last week), but that's a personal agreement, not a school one. 

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We've dealt with 4 schools, in state, OOS and CC. For all of them the grades go to the student and there is no parent access. At some schools the student can sign a waiver granting parent access.

 

In our experience, who pays tuition has nothing to do with it and the schools are all aware who is paying tuition.

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DS's school sends parents a report card each semester.  In addition, during parent weekend each semester you can sign up for parent/teacher conferences. 

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My guys have always gotten their grades.  Then they've shared them with us.

 

I'm 100% ok with that.

 

I'm sure I'd be peeved if my kid moved into a dorm and never attended classes, failing out, on my dime, but that would be 100% between us.  It's certainly not the school's fault.  I don't particularly want the school watching over my kid in that manner, unless someone had reported that they thought there were medical or mental/medical problems going on.

 

College is supposed to be a place for young adults, not kids who need a nanny.  If my young adult is not making good choices and costing me money, that's between us, not us and the school.

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My guys have always gotten their grades.  Then they've shared them with us.

 

I'm 100% ok with that.

 

I'm sure I'd be peeved if my kid moved into a dorm and never attended classes, failing out, on my dime, but that would be 100% between us.  It's certainly not the school's fault.  I don't particularly want the school watching over my kid in that manner, unless someone had reported that they thought there were medical or mental/medical problems going on.

 

College is supposed to be a place for young adults, not kids who need a nanny.  If my young adult is not making good choices and costing me money, that's between us, not us and the school.

 

I've told this story before, but I was the head dorm assistant at a small state college. Sometimes I'd go do paperwork at the housing office at night if my boss needed certain reports the next day for a meeting, and I would be tied up in classes. The college had a networked computer system with all of our records. No network or internet in the dorms yet -- years ago!

 

Anyway, more than once a parent called looking for their kid. It was 10pm and said kid wasn't in their dorm room. They'd want me to find them.

 

No, we don't offer that service.

 

Then they'd want the number of their R.A.

 

I'd refuse to give that out because they don't provide that service either.

 

Then the parent would say something to the effect that we run a horrible college.

 

And I'd tell them that all the paperwork over the summer explained what we do and don't do in housing. If they are unhappy with the situation, they should withdraw their kid.

 

So even back then. If you want more oversight, you have to choose a school that does that. And no, they didn't send my grades to my parents then either. They came to me.

Edited by G5052
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The scenario in question involved a student at a public uni that basically moved into the dorm and didn't attend classes after that. He failed all his courses. The parents were paying the tuition, but whenever they asked him how things were going he said fine. Parents were being criticized because "if the son didn't show them the grades, they should have been down at the college demanding to see them" - demanding that the college show them, in other words.

 

I argued that wouldn't happen, if the son refused for the parents to see the grades, the college was not going to override the son and show them. The counterargument was that of course they would, the parents are paying the bill. If that wasn't allowed, it must just be in my state. ;)

The practical reality is that seeing grades doesnt matter...too late in the game. One needs to have prepared the student for the add/drop/section change process as well as taking advantage of tutoring and study groups while keeping in mind what full time student status means for financial aid and tax purposes.

 

Also, state u may be quite competitive for getting in to certain majors, and for the level of work compared to high school..This should not be a surprise to student or parent....dont skimp on doing the research before committing, and planning how the student is going to get and maintain that gpa. First semester is not sink and swim unless the student is well prepared academically and has good EF skills.

Edited by Heigh Ho
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Look up FERPA.   That's usually why schools say parents can't have access but there are exceptions.  From US Department of Education FAQ about FERPA:

 

 If I am a parent of a college student, do I have the right to see my child's education records, especially if I pay the bill?

 

As noted above, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student, once the student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age. However, although the rights under FERPA have now transferred to the student, a school may disclose information from an "eligible student's" education records to the parents of the student, without the student's consent, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes. Neither the age of the student nor the parent's status as a custodial parent is relevant. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then either parent may have access under this provision. (34 CFR § 99.31(a)(8).)

 

Thanks for that!  I don't think most schools make that distinction though, or mention it.  But if a parent knew the law, it seems they could get access if the student was still a dependent.

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I don't even have access to my 14 year old's grades because that is the school's policy.  Which I think is ok;. 

 

 

 

 

Oh hell no.  I am responsible for a 14 year old.  If I didn't get access to their grades I would throw a fit.  

 

Is this at a college though?  I've seen colleges do that with even minors.  I don't think that's right though.  I can understand it with 18 and over.  Not with a minor.

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Just to clarify, I think the rule is fine.  Your child is an adult.  As the payer I would want access to the grades, but that would be between be and the now-adult beneficiary of my money. ;)  I don't think the school is obligated to me in any way.  To them I am just another source of financial aid.  

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My child would have needed to sign a FERPA release for us to be able to access her information. She was under 18 when she started college, and still had to sign it. 

 

I know it's probably not a popular opinion, but I don't believe that paying tuition entitles a parent to see the child's grades. I actually don't believe that a child is ready to go away to college if a parent still needs to monitor grades. They're adults at that point, and if they can't be expected to act like adults, then they aren't ready or mature enough to go away to school.

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I know it's probably not a popular opinion, but I don't believe that paying tuition entitles a parent to see the child's grades. I actually don't believe that a child is ready to go away to college if a parent still needs to monitor grades. They're adults at that point, and if they can't be expected to act like adults, then they aren't ready or mature enough to go away to school.

It isn't a matter of preparation or maturity, it's a matter of accountability. I can't think of a professional scenario in which a person wouldn't be held accountable for spending company money wisely. That's the entire purpose of department budgets, performance reviews and employee expense reports. You don't get to waste money that belongs to someone else. If you do, the eventual result will be a loss of employment.
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My oldest went to one of those rare parent-notified schools for undergrad: HIllsdale. Only school I've ever run across that did that. I actually went to a parent-teacher conference once--only time I ever did. I just wanted to meet some of her professors. My other kids could have signed FERPAs but somehow, it never came up. 

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Settle a disagreement:

 

Person 1 says that you cannot have access to your child's college information (grades/etc) unless the child grants you access, regardless of whether or not you are paying the tuition.

 

Person 2 says that if you are the one paying the tuition, of course you have access to that information.

 

Legally speaking, parent 1 is correct. 

 

However, my kids know that if I'm paying, that means they must grant me access (and they have no issue with that). 

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Look up FERPA.   That's usually why schools say parents can't have access but there are exceptions.  From US Department of Education FAQ about FERPA:

 

 If I am a parent of a college student, do I have the right to see my child's education records, especially if I pay the bill?

 

As noted above, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student, once the student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age. However, although the rights under FERPA have now transferred to the student, a school may disclose information from an "eligible student's" education records to the parents of the student, without the student's consent, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes. Neither the age of the student nor the parent's status as a custodial parent is relevant. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then either parent may have access under this provision. (34 CFR § 99.31(a)(8).)

 

I never knew the bolded. But...I'm curious about the word may here--a school "may" disclose information....sounds like they still don't "have to." 

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School and student unless the student gives written permission for access (they have forms to fill out) or just shares all their passwords with mom so it doesn't matter anyways.

 

I have access to everything my college kids have access to. They signed the paperwork for the school and aside from that, I'm too lazy to make my own access account, so they just give me their user names and passwords. 😎

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I know this doesn't help the person in question, but we didn't pay the tuition until the student signed permission for us to see his grades before he started freshman year.

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We pay our dd's tuition and she gave me her password for online access for everything.  BUT, I would never dream of checking her grades!!  She is an adult now and as long as she passes her classes, I am good.  She was a freshman this year - I hoped for good grades, but I also knew this would be a year of 'firsts', 'challenges', independence, and juggling of new experiences and responsibilities.  

 

DE is another story, they are still a high school student and if you are homeschooling, you are ultimately the teacher.  

 

 

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The young adult years are such a weird time. The parents are required to reveal all their personal financial information for the student to receive aid, but, generally, do not have access to grades and other academic info without student permission. Similar situation with health care (which is a huge pain if you are the parent of a vulnerable young adult with mental health issues!)

 

On the other hand, I'm grateful that my mentally ill mother did not have access to my records during my college years, so...

Edited by Gr8lander
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I think if the parents and child have an adversarial relationship vs an attitude that the entire family is working together for everyone's benefit - then that's the problem. Not the grades or whether the parents know the grades.

 

I suppose if I had an adversarial relationship, then I might for whatever reason deem a need to step back from supporting financially or otherwise. If we aren't working together towards a common goal, then I would think it ridiculous to be expected to support them in a goal I don't agree with for whatever reasons. Not so much as a blackmail issue but as a relationship issue. I suppose some might not see the difference, but their opinion of my parenting is really not of value to the decision for us.

 

I have access to everything but honestly I don't have the time or energy to drag a grown adult to the water and then practically drown them to get a drink down their throat. I can offer insight, counsel, empathy. But the work they achieve there is up to them. I can't make them do what I think best. Damned free will is a right pita of every parent sometimes. The point is to be active enough in their lives to have a sense for how they are doing and have a safety net so that if something is ever concerning, the school can contact me or I can contact them without having to fill out paperwork in the midst of all that. I do not want access so I can hound them or play big brother watching over their accounts. They usually show me their grades about every 2 months or so. And we talk about their classes and assignments in conversation. I suppose if I thought something sounded off or concerning, I'd tell them so and get to the bottom of it. And after a couple decades of being my children, it's not like that dynamic to our relationship is shocking or offensive to them.

 

And for the parents who say "I made them sign the forms!" Yeah. Whatever. It's not like this is in stone. It's a piece of paper saying the student gives permission. And the student can turn right around and sign another piece of paper saying they remove permission any time they want and you'll never know until you are denied access. If you have to make them sign basic forms like this then there's bigger problems going on, imnsho, and I wouldn't be able to sleep until I resolved that problem or at least felt we had a reached a mutual understanding on how to improve it. Because I'm just that kind of smother.

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They usually show me their grades about every 2 months or so. And we talk about their classes and assignments in conversation. I suppose if I thought something sounded off or concerning, I'd tell them so and get to the bottom of it. And after a couple decades of being my children, it's not like that dynamic to our relationship is shocking or offensive to them.

 

And for the parents who say "I made them sign the forms!" Yeah. Whatever. It's not like this is in stone. It's a piece of paper saying the student gives permission. And the student can turn right around and sign another piece of paper saying they remove permission any time they want and you'll never know until you are denied access. If you have to make them sign basic forms like this then there's bigger problems going on, imnsho, and I wouldn't be able to sleep until I resolved that problem or at least felt we had a reached a mutual understanding on how to improve it. Because I'm just that kind of smother.

 

Yes, I told mine that we weren't going to bother with the forms. I did indicate that I want informal discussion of their progress here-and-there, and that I want to know if they are struggling. At the end of the semester, I want to see their final grades because we have to order a transcript anyway for transfer credit and car insurance discounts. So that's an ideal time for them to log me in while we order the transcripts. I only look at letter grades. Then I'm off and that's that.

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Yes, I told mine that we weren't going to bother with the forms. I did indicate that I want informal discussion of their progress here-and-there, and that I want to know if they are struggling. At the end of the semester, I want to see their final grades because we have to order a transcript anyway for transfer credit and car insurance discounts. So that's an ideal time for them to log me in while we order the transcripts. I only look at letter grades. Then I'm off and that's that.

I really want parents to encourage getting these forms signed. It's not just about grades. If my kid needs medical help - the school legally cannot tell me unless that form is filled out. If the school thinks my child is showing signs of depression or something - they can't share that with me without the form filled out.

 

I agree it shouldn't be like that, but it is and I don't want to get a call from some random classmate that my kid is suffering bc the form isn't filled out. Or worse not know until it's too late.

 

It's really no different than making sure my dh has all his formed filled out giving me permission to talk to someone about his bank or medical information. If he is ever injured or needs my help, that is not the moment to discover the paperwork to let me do so is not in order. I can scream and cuss at the staff about how I shouldn't need such paperwork, but it won't change that legally they can't help me without it.

 

We all think it won't happen. But it can and it does. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

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I never knew the bolded. But...I'm curious about the word may here--a school "may" disclose information....sounds like they still don't "have to." 

One school at which I taught interpreted the law so strictly that I was not even supposed to reveal whether a student was enrolled in my class without the student's permission.  So, if a parent called and said "Johnny is going to miss your exam today because he has just been admitted to the hospital with appendicitis," my response was supposed to be, "OK. If Johnny is in my class he can talk to me when he recovers," with absolutely no hint in my voice of whether Johnny was in my class or not.

 

I did have a student who signed a release for me to talk to his parents.  The administration told me that allowed me to talk with the parents if I chose to, but I was not required to talk to the parents if I chose not to.

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I really want parents to encourage getting these forms signed. It's not just about grades. If my kid needs medical help - the school legally cannot tell me unless that form is filled out. If the school thinks my child is showing signs of depression or something - they can't share that with me without the form filled out.

 

I agree it shouldn't be like that, but it is and I don't want to get a call from some random classmate that my kid is suffering bc the form isn't filled out. Or worse not know until it's too late.

 

It's really no different than making sure my dh has all his formed filled out giving me permission to talk to someone about his bank or medical information. If he is ever injured or needs my help, that is not the moment to discover the paperwork to let me do so is not in order. I can scream and cuss at the staff about how I shouldn't need such paperwork, but it won't change that legally they can't help me without it.

 

We all think it won't happen. But it can and it does. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

 

Medical certainly. But grades, no. Different forms, at least at the college where DD attends.

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Medical certainly. But grades, no. Different forms, at least at the college where DD attends.

 

Ds's college had one online form for him to fill out (while logged in) that gave parents access to medical, academic, and housing information (they could check any one or all). Ds gave me access to all, but I never tried to use it. He showed me his grades at midterm and end of semester. I have his account login, but only use it with his permission.

 

I don't think the school needs to share my kid's grades with me because I pay the bills. I think my kid's needs to share their grades with me because I pay the bills. It isn't something the college needs to do or decide. It is just a family thing.

 

I am old enough that my university sent report cards to my parents. It would never have occurred to me that my parents shouldn't see my grades. I know I was the responsible adult and all, but they did help pay and there was no FERPA noise yet.

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I have no idea if ours filled out forms or not TBH.  They share their log in with me (esp so I can pay the bills!), but I don't look at grades.  They tell me their grades.  I like it that way.

 

For medical issues, we've exchanged numbers with their roommates when they've had roommates.  They may have signed papers for us to be told about that too.  I don't know, and really, they're adults - it's up to them, not me.

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Our boys signed up to have us as proxies for school information. I could ask the school, and I could log in to their student accounts, but I choose not to do so. So far we haven't had any billing issues so sending checks has worked, and I've not needed to check the accounting department. Ds volunteers grades, and has logged in before to show me because he had been waiting for his final grades and happened to be visiting.

 

I prefer the honor system as I think it preserves our relationship. He's a really honest kid, so I just don't have any expectation that he'll be wasting our money. I guess if I saw signs that something was really wrong, really off, I'd make inquiries.

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Person one is correct; your student has to sign a waiver fee for you to access the grades. But you can refuse to pay tuition if they do not do that.

 

Settle a disagreement:

 

Person 1 says that you cannot have access to your child's college information (grades/etc) unless the child grants you access, regardless of whether or not you are paying the tuition.

 

Person 2 says that if you are the one paying the tuition, of course you have access to that information.

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Oh hell no.  I am responsible for a 14 year old.  If I didn't get access to their grades I would throw a fit.  

 

Is this at a college though?  I've seen colleges do that with even minors.  I don't think that's right though.  I can understand it with 18 and over.  Not with a minor.

 

Yes a college.

 

I think it's right. 

 

Of course he showed me his grade.  I just have no right to call them up and ask them for it.

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Maybe a compromise is to ask the student the current GPA rather than individual grades.  To me so long as they aren't carrying a GPA that's too low to graduate it isn't really one's business even if one is paying for it.

 

 

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Grades are between student and college in our neck of the woods. We're paying a big chunk of the bill, so we expect disclosure from dc.

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