Information for Family Members about FERPA
Throughout elementary and high school, parents are granted access to their child's records and are told to be involved in their child's education. When students enroll in college, however, they gain full control of their educational records. What this means to parents is that Drexel University staff and faculty cannot discuss most aspects of your student's education with you, including grades, course schedules, disciplinary actions, and financial information due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
FERPA and Parent Access
While the FERPA law is in place to protect your student, we do understand that this is a big change from high school and may take some time to navigate. Many offices and departments at Drexel are willing to talk with you about policies and procedures, even if they cannot discuss your student's specific academic or financial situation.
Drexel University does not mean to discourage your involvement with your student's education. However, parental involvement must shift during college as your student takes on more personal responsibility for their academic life. We encourage you to have conversations with your student regarding FERPA, your expectations, your student's responsibilities, and what information your student will release to you. Here is some information to get you started.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) governs who has access to students' educational records. Under this law, students enrolled in a postsecondary institution at any age are in control of their records and must grant access for others, including parents, to view these records. Educational records include academic records, registration, billing, and financial information. The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for overseeing FERPA. View the Drexel University FERPA policy for more information.
Drexel University Family Portal
An important resource for families of current students is the Drexel University Family Portal, which will help you better understand your student's experience at college. Open to family members of all undergraduate students, the Family Portal provides relevant, up-to-date information about all things Drexel in one central location as well as pointers and articles about higher education in general. You will even have the ability to request access to view your student's billing information, financial aid, grades, and class schedules. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), your student will be ultimately responsible for approving or declining access. They will be notified via email once your request is made. Select the button bellow to activate your account and connect with your Dragon community!
Access to information protected by FERPA is granted via the Drexel University Family Portal. Family members must first set up an account in the portal. They can then submit a request for access by taking the following steps:
- Log in to your Drexel Family Portal account.
- Select the graduate cap icon on the homepage.
- Select the "Go to My Connections" button.
- Enter your student's University email address and then check the box to request information.
The student will receive an email advising them of the request for access and with information on approving or declining the request. Students can opt to grant full or partial access (see the breakdown of information in the FAQ section). If a student approves a request, access to the information will be granted in the Family Portal 24 hours later.
It is important to note that the family member must initiate this request. Undergraduate students cannot grant access until a family member has made a request via the Family Portal.
Sign Up for the Family Portal
Frequently Asked Questions
No, FERPA Waivers submitted prior to the launch of the Drexel Family Portal (August 2020) do not automatically grant access to a student's specific information via the Drexel Family Portal. Family members must still request access once their account has been set up in the Drexel Family Portal.
Please note that previously submitted FERPA Waivers remain valid until a student changes this access. This means that a FERPA Waiver submitted prior to August 2020 still grants parents limited access to speak to University officials about their student's specific academic, registration, financial aid, and billing information.
Updates to FERPA Waivers submitted by undergraduate students prior to August 2020 via DrexelOne can be made in DrexelOne by following these steps:
- Log in to DrexelOne.
- Select the Academics tab.
- Choose the "FERPA Waiver" link in the Grades, Transcripts, and Records channel.
- Select "Add a new person for access authorization."
- Fill in the blank fields.
- To update the level of access granted, select/unselect the appropriate categories.
- To completely revoke access, select "Remove Contact."
Please note that undergraduate students will not be able to establish new FERPA Waivers via DrexelOne; family members are required to submit requests via the Drexel Family Portal to establish new FERPA Waivers and access to information.
The different categories of information that can be granted for access are as follows:
||Student course schedule, credit hours, other status information (degree, major, and class year), and co-op-related information
||Course grades (via an unofficial transcript), final grades, and co-op-related information
||Anticipated date of graduation, expected degrees, and certificates received (coming soon!)
||Award package and financial aid requirements *
||Current balances **
* Students remain solely responsible for completing all financial aid requirements.
** Authorized user access to a student's eBill and billing account is separate from a FERPA Waiver; having a FERPA Waiver does not allow a Family Member to view a student's official bill or make payments on their behalf. Students must set up family members as authorized users separate from granting FERPA access.