Ask the FERPA Professor

December 8, 2023
  • FERPA Professor
cartoon figure reminiscent of Einstein stands in front of a chalkboard with the board "FERPA" written on it

Dear FERPA Professor, 

I am an independent contractor. I work at different schools as a registrar. My question is if a student gives written permission to a third party to discuss or view their academics or unofficial transcript, should that expire every year or can the student just give an end date, which might be years long?

What is the best practice?


Ms. Phillips

Dear Ms. Phillips,

Student consent to disclose student education records can be open-ended depending on what is included in the consent. Thus, if a student signs a consent for the institution to give access to the student's parents and doesn't put a time limit, then the student's education records disclosures could continue unless the student revokes the consent.  Conversely, if the consent provides for such access for the school year, then that consent would cease to be viable after the end of the school year.

I hope this is helpful in answering your questions.  You can find additional information in the 2012 AACRAO FERPA Guide.

The FERPA Professor

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