Can Professors See Your Transcript, GPA, And Other Classes

Can Professors See Your Transcript

While it’s understandable that educational institutions restrict outsiders from accessing student information, it’s not always clear whether professors can also access this information.

Can they access your transcript, and GPA, and can they even see all the classes you may be taking?

The truth is that FERPA regulations permit professors within the school access to students’ educational records (transcript, GPA, and more) without consent, provided they’re determined to have legitimate educational interest in the information.

This means the professor can access your transcript, GPA, and any personally identifiable information (PII) so long as the school determines it to be genuinely necessary for your education.

Let’s take a look at the list of people or bodies who can access your educational records without permission from you or your parent.

Who Can Access Your Academic Information

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, educational institutions cannot simply disclose any personally identifiable information (PII) from any student’s records to third parties without the consent of the parent or student.

That said, there’re exceptions to this rule. Schools can disclose students’ educational records to people who fall within these groups.

School Officials

Under FERPA regulations, school officials are permitted to access students’ academic records under some conditions.

They would have to demonstrate to the school that they have a legitimate educational interest in the information.

The school is responsible for deciding what constitutes a legitimate educational interest as well as who constitutes a school official.

Essentially, so long as they can prove to the school that the information would be used in the administration of their duties which benefits the students, they are permitted to access this information.

A legitimate educational use of a student’s educational record would include such things as the review of a student’s grades by an advisor for determining the need for academic counseling, registration activities, or a degree audit.

School Contractors

Generally, school contractors don’t have access to student information. However, the exceptions include software/application vendors, lawyers, nutritional consultants, and more.

Such contractors may need access to student information in the administration of their duties. A typical example is a software development vendor accessing student information to update them on school systems.

Another School

Schools can disclose student academic information to another school in which a student seeks enrollment or where the student is already enrolled.

So long as the information is necessary for the student’s enrollment or transfer, schools can disclose personally identifiable information to another school.

That said, schools that disclose educational records under such conditions are expected to make reasonable attempts to notify parents.

In this case, the parents can request a copy of the records that were disclosed by the educational institutions.

Financial Aid

Under FERPA regulations, disclosure of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data, which is part of the student’s educational record, is permitted without the student’s written consent.

Keep in mind that this is permitted so long as the information is necessary to determine financial aid eligibility or the amount of aid, the conditions for the aid, or to enforce the terms, and conditions of the aid.

Legal Order

To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, FERPA regulations permit schools to disclose student information without consent from the student or parent.

In the event of a legal proceeding, the court can order the release of student information. The school would be mandated to comply with the judicial order and release the necessary information which may include transcripts, attendance records, and grades.

Health Officials

FERPA regulations permit schools to disclose student information to the appropriate officials, without consent from the student or parent, in the event of a health or safety emergency.

To protect the health and safety of students, the school may need to disclose student information to health professionals in case a student is hurt.

This may include sensitive information like their medical records or emergency contact information. To avoid problems, schools are expected to release this information in accordance with FERPA regulations.

Research Institutions

Educational institutions may disclose personally identifiable student information to organizations conducting studies on behalf of academic agencies for:

  • Developing, validating, or administering predictive tests
  • Administering student aid programs
  • Improving instruction

That said, such information cannot be released to these agencies without an agreement between the school and the organization undertaking the research, even if it’s run by a state or local educational authority.

Directory Information

Educational institutions may disclose information regarding students that it classifies as directory information.

Information can only be considered directory information if its disclosure is not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy.

Additionally, the school would need to provide a public notice to students each year, informing them of the specific information that constitutes directory information.

Directory information may include:

  • Student’s Name
  • Email Address
  • Photograph
  • Major Field of Study
  • Grade Level
  • Enrollment Status

It is expected that students be given the opportunity to opt out of having their directory information disclosed as part of the school’s annual notice.

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Can All Professors See Your Transcript

If you’re worried about your professor leisurely accessing your academic information, you should know that most professors refrain from such actions unless absolutely necessary.

While it’s true that FERPA regulations have exceptions for school officials (defined by the school) to access students’ academic information, these officials must prove that they have legitimate educational interests to be given access to this information.

Keep in mind that what’s considered legitimate academic interest is defined by the school. To simplify things, some educational institutions simply restrict access to the particular professors teaching the student’s courses.

Can All Professors See Your GPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations permit educational institutions to allow school officials access to students’ academic information, provided they’re determined to have legitimate educational interest in the information.

That said, the schools are responsible for defining who constitutes a school official and what is considered a legitimate educational interest.

Professors teaching a student’s course, and looking to access student information may be considered to have a legitimate educational interest.

Can Anyone See Your College Transcripts

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations prohibit educational institutions from disclosing students’ educational records without their consent or the consent of their parents.

That said, there’re exceptions to this rule as school officials, and a few other groups can have permission to access student information.

You can look at the points above to identify groups that can access your academic information including transcripts.

Can Professors See Your Attendance In Other Classes

Professors can access students’ academic information without their consent or that of their parent’s so long as their intentions are determined to be legitimate by the educational institution.

Keep in mind that the keyword here is “legitimate”. They need to prove that they have a legitimate educational interest to have access to student educational information.

Some schools on the other hand may limit access to student information to professors teaching those specific students. Educational institutions need to comply with FERPA regulations to avoid any privacy issues.

It’s advisable for students to understand their school’s policies on protecting their academic information including attendance.

Akshay Vikhe

I am an aspiring Data Scientist with a huge interest in technology. I like to review courses that are genuine and add real value to student’s careers. Read my story

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