FAQ Details

Under FERPA, parents may have access to information when the student is dependent. Do we release information on that basis?

One of FERPA's exceptions permits the disclosure of information derived from education records to the parent if the student is a dependent student.

Under SUNY policy a campus can choose to use one of two methods to validate dependency: (1) the parents can provide a copy of their most recent tax information/returns or (2) the student can affirm that they are a dependent using a campus provided form.

To protect parents as well as students - and due to inherent privacy risks in sharing and disseminating tax data - SUNY Cortland asks students to provide the release using the campus release forms.

According to SUNY's policy, records can be provided to:

"parents of a dependent student, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954; (While FERPA permits campuses to release education records to parents of dependent students without student consent, it does not require them to do so. The parent must provide a copy of their most recent federal income tax return establishing the student's dependency or the campus can rely on the student's assertion of dependency for tax purposes on a form provided by the campus. Full rights under the Act shall be given to either parent, unless the University has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, state statute or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation or custody that specifically revokes those rights.)" The complete SUNY policy can be found here: https://www.suny.edu/sunypp/documents.cfm?doc_id=540

Last updated: 8/18/2021