My daughter is just starting college. She was a very average student in high school. I worry about how she will do. Will I be able to see her grades? -- Anxious


Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, once a student turns 18 or attends a school beyond high school, the right of access to a student's record passes to the student. This means that you won't be able to see your daughter's grades unless she signs a waiver form that allows the grades to be released to you. Even if she signs the waiver, you will have to make a request in order to see her grades. They will not automatically be sent to you. There is, however, an exception to this act if you can document that your daughter is still claimed as a dependent on your income tax form. The easiest way for you to find out exactly what your daughter's grades are is simply to ask her. Why don't you have this discussion with her?

Besides grades, under FERPA, all academic information, from warnings to probation and discipline records, goes directly to students and not to their parents. The one time that colleges can release information to parents is if a child is a danger to herself or others or to protect the student's health and safety.