As the parent of a new college freshman, you’re going to find that you’ve got a new function: that of an ATM machine. As long as you are paying the bills, take the following action now. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) means that you are not allowed to access your student’s grades, courses, or financial aid records without their permission! I know, isn’t this just crazy?!

proxyNot having this access could have serious consequences. I can’t tell you how many students never check their accounts. You must have access to your student’s secure college website portal. It may be the same one that they registered for when they first applied to the college, or it may be new because they are now studentsGet their user ID and password! I can’t stress this enough.

Usually the colleges won’t allow the student access to the Parent Proxy paperwork until after they have moved into their dorm. The STUDENT needs to find out from the college what the procedure is to ALLOW YOU to become a proxy on your student’s account. As we’ve said, you’ll need to get permission from your student. If your student refuses, my suggestion would be to let them know you will also refuse to fund any further tuition payments!

Do this now before your student gets too busy. If you aren’t proactive, you could find out well after a deadline that a document or form was missed– and that could have very serious financial consequences.