FERPA - What is it?

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and YOU!

Viterbo University understands your interest, as a parent, in your student's academic progress.  This Information below will serve to help answer some questions you may have about this important education privacy act.

FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.  By federal law, there are limitations on what type of information can be shared.  Once your student is enrolled in a higher education institution, regardless of their age, the student is the custodian of their educational records.  FERPA prohibits the disclosure of information about a student's academic or conduct status to anyone outside of the university.  Such records are treated as confidential information and cannot be released to anyone outside of the university without the student's written consent or unless directed to do so by a court of law.  Failure to adhere to these guidelines can result in the loss of federal dollars to the university, including federal financial aid.

Will I see my student's grades or be notified of my student's academic progress?

No.  Even if you're paying the tuition, Viterbo cannot disclose or discuss your student's academic status or grades without written permission from your student.  Parents are encouraged to contact their student to provide them access to their educational or financial records via VitNet Self-Service Proxy.  Under FERPA, parents are entitled to, at the discretion of Viterbo University, request educational record information for a dependent child.  If the student is unwilling to grant access via VitNet Self -Service Proxy, the parents may submit a form, along with a copy of the tax return documenting dependency.  Information may be provided in this case, at Viterbo's discretion.

Will I be notified if my student is in violation of a university regulation or policy?

In most cases, no.  With the exception of severe repeated drug and alcohol violations by students under age 21, student conduct records, as all education records, are protected under FERPA.

Where can I find more information about FERPA?

Visit the U.S. Department of Education website at https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html or Viterbo University website at https://www.viterbo.edu/registrar/ferpa.

What happens if my student grants me access to their records?

After your student has granted you access, two emails will be sent.  The first will contain a direct link to VitNet Self-Service and user information.  The second will contain your temporary password for first login.  You will then be prompted to change this password.

Frequent areas visited:

  • To make a payment:  Click on Student Finance button; click Make a Payment link
  • To see a statement:  Click on Student Finance button; click Account Activity link
  • To see grades:  Click on Grades button

Depending on your permissions, you may or may not see the button that relates to a particular area of the student information.

If you experience any problems, please contact our Help Desk by email or call 608-796-3870.