FERPA, Student Records & Billing FAQ

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What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of education records. The same laws that give families and students access to and control over a child’s educational records during elementary and high school transfer ownership of the records to the student at the college level.

According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment), college students are considered responsible adults and are allowed to determine who will receive information about them. Under this law, families who want to receive a copy of their student’s academic or financial records can do so if their child signs a release form. FERPA, along with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, forms the backdrop for the Regents Policy on Access to Student Records. For more information about University policy related to access to student records, see the One Stop website.

Where can I find out more about FERPA?

The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for overseeing FERPA. See their website for additional information.

How can I get a copy of my student’s grades?

The quickest, easiest way for parents to receive information about their student’s grades, financial statement, or other student information is for the student to provide it. Students can look up information online, print it off, and give or email a copy to their parents. Student records are available at the student One Stop website.

If I’m paying for my student’s education, why can’t I get a copy of their records?

FERPA requires that access to a college student’s records must be granted by approval of the student. Families can, however, receive information about their student’s records if the student agrees to provide access. Students can go to the student One Stop website, link to Parent/Guest Access, and follow the instructions to provide access. Families also can receive information about their student’s record if they submit proof that the student is a dependent. Proof is considered to be a copy of the most recent year’s federal tax form showing that the parent/guardian claims the student as a dependent.

What is Parent/Guest Access?

Students can give "view only" access to parents/guardians by going online at the One Stop website and linking to Parent/Guest Access. They can follow the instructions on that page to give their parents/guardians or other guests access to one or more of the following areas of the student's record:

  • Enrollment summary
  • Financial aid status
  • Grades
  • Holds
  • Student account (online billing and payments)
  • View financial aid awards
  • Housing contract, assignment, and billing
  • Student conduct in on-campus housing
  • Meal plans, Dining Dollars, and Gopher GOLD™ value

Students can also sign a release form to give parents/guardians access to protected information. The Student Information Release Authorization (PDF) form is available from the One Stop site.

Having a release form on file does not mean that information will automatically be mailed to parents or other authorized designees; information will be made available upon request from the authorized third party.

What is the process for getting access to my student's information?

Access is granted through this step-by-step process:

Student sends email invite generated from the parent/guest access application to parent/guest

Parent/guest accepts invite via a website and puts in demographic information

Student is informed that parent/guest accepted invite and has signed up

Student completes the process by selecting the level of access (they can authorize specific areas of information, including grades, holds, enrollment summary, financial aid status, financial aid awards, student account, housing information, and conduct matters for on-campus housing).

If the parent/guest has any questions about the process, needs to confirm that the student has completed the access process, or has any questions once they are logged in, they should contact One Stop at 612-624-1111 or [email protected].

Where do I get proof of my student's enrollment?

Students can request a certification letter that covers both of these items. The request form is available from the One Stop site: Request for Certification (PDF). Your student will need to sign the form and send it to the address on the form.

Students also can get the certification letter by going in person to one of the One Stop Student Services offices on campus.

How do I pay tuition?

Payments toward the student's account can be made in the following ways:

Online Billing and Payment Services

The quickest way to make a payment is online through the Parent/Guest Access application (see more about getting parent/guest access in the center column of this page) via the student account.

Payments can be made online from your checking or savings account, or charge a payment to your VISA, Master Card, DISCOVER, or American Express credit card. All credit/debit card payments are subject to a nonrefundable 2.75 percent service charge.

If you do not have access to your student’s account through Parent/Guest Access, your student will need to set up your access by following the instructions on Authorize access to your student record on the One Stop website.

Pay by U.S. Postal Service Mail

Address your payments to:

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
NW 6443
PO Box 1450
Minneapolis, MN 55485-6443

Please be sure to print and enclose a copy of the “Printable Version/PDF” of the billing statement to ensure timely crediting of your payment. You can print the bill through the Parent/Guest Access application. Write your student’s ID number on the check and include it with a copy of the payment portion of the billing statement.

Read more about how to pay the University or contact One Stop Student Services for more information.

Can bills be mailed to me?

The University of Minnesota offers electronic billing and payment of student account bills (tuition, fees, housing, books, etc.). Electronic billing is the official means of generating tuition bills to all University of Minnesota students.

The University electronic billing and payment system automatically sends an email notification to the student's U of M email address when the bill is ready to be viewed online. Students can authorize parents or guests (also get an email notification) to view and pay bills online. As an authorized payer, parents/guests can view student's tuition bills online; view student's billing and payment history online; pay student's tuition bills online by automatically deducting the amount from a checking or savings account or charge payment to a VISA, MasterCard, DISCOVER, or American Express credit card; and download and print a copy of the student's bill for sending check payments via U.S. mail.