Do I need a signed FERPA Release to send transcripts and recommendations to colleges?

Short Answer

No, but without a release authorization students and parents can request to see copies of everything you send. You must then provide access to the requested information within 45 days.


Long Answer

FERPA §99.31(a)(2) permits disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information from an educational record without prior consent when that disclosure is part of an application for enrollment in another academic institution. However, this is subject to §99.34.


  • 99.34(a)(1)(i) states that you do not need to notify the parent/student about the disclosure if the parent or “eligible student" requested the disclosure. Unfortunately, transcript and recommendation requests usually come from students, not parents, and students are often under age 18, which means they are not “eligible students.”


  • 99.34(a)(1)(ii) states that a notice is not required if your annual FERPA Notice includes a statement that your school "forwards education records to other agencies or institutions that have requested the records and in which the student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer.” However…


  • 99.34(a)(2) states that you must also provide “the parent or eligible student, upon request, a copy of the record that was disclosed.”


  • 99.10(b) states that you must comply with a parent’s or eligible student’s request for access to records “within a reasonable period of time, but not more than 45 days after [you have] received the request.”

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