The federal government puts parents in an impossible situation with information about our college students (3/20, A-1, “Should schools tell parents about drinking problems?; A privacy law often keeps colleges from revealing grades, health or legal troubles”).
The federal government won’t help pay for college if your FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) indicates a family can pay. However, parents don’t have the right to know anything about their student or the education they are paying for unless the student allows it because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
If parents are expected to pay for college, we have a right to know what is happening to our students and our money. Parents, be strong and insist your child sign the waiver authorizing the university to release information to you if they want your money for college. Otherwise, let the student pay for college. Our children’s lives may depend on it.
Martha R. Hadfield