FERPA protects your privacy

As our society continues to use the internet and other means to extend the sharing of information worldwide, it is important to have safeguards in place to ensure that the privacy of personal information is protected. The Federal government has enacted a number of laws intended to safeguard the privacy of personal information, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Under the provisions of FERPA, students have the right to inspect their educational records and submit requests to correct errors and inaccuracies. 

Detailed information about specific FERPA provisions is available through the Registrar's Office.  Without permission, Business Office personnel are not permitted to discuss the details of the student's account with anyone other than the student. The restrictions not only apply to the parents, but also spouses. It can be frustrating at times for all parties concerned, but FERPA restrictions are inflexible and must be observed.

The Welcome Center lobby at Washburn is a spot where many students study and relax.

FERPA: How to give consent

While our staff will always be happy to explain general university policies regarding student accounts, in order to provide specific information about your student's account balance, we will need his/her consent, as required by FERPA. For the Washburn University Business Office, the student's consent to release financial information can be accomplished in two ways: 

  1. When the student registers the parent as an authorized user in WU-View (provides a Business Office release only) or
  2. When the students signs an electronic FERPA release form it can include releases for multiple records, including the students accounting records.  A legally executed Power of Attorney granting the holder the right to discuss financial information is also acceptable as FERPA permission, once the Business Office representative has verified that the University is in possession of a copy of the document.

Important to note:

  • If a student signs an electronic FERPA release but does not set up an authorized user in WU-View, the parent will not receive copies of emails or be able to log into the online payment system to make payments.
  • If a student sets up an authorized user in WU-View but does not sign an electronic FERPA release, only the Business Office can visit with the authorized user because the WU-View release pertains only to student accounts.
  • After signing an electronic FERPA release, it can take from 24 to 48 hours before it is accessible to the Business Office.

The parent must have a valid email address to be set up as an authorized user in the online payment system. If the student is uncertain how to set up a parent as an authorized user in WU-View, we will be happy to walk him/her through the process. In addition, authorized users in WU-View receive email notifications when e-bills are generated or when payments are due and also can set up payment plans and/or make payments on behalf of the student.

Although it is a poor idea for security reasons, students will sometimes give their personal login information to a parent so that he/she can view student information. Please know that this does not make the parent an authorized user. Likewise, a student may give a parent verbal permission to speak with our office, but this also does not make the parent an authorized user. 

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