We understand that parents want to have a role in the education of their Hamilton student. We encourage communication between students and parents about the student's academic program and life at Hamilton. However, we believe that students are ultimately responsible for their own academic program and success. Faculty and staff are available to assist students and will help them achieve their goals, but the student has final responsibility for understanding the policies and procedures.
Grades and all other student education records are protected by FERPA (see below). In compliance with the law, this "non-directory" information requires the student's written consent prior to its release by a school official to any source outside the College, including parents. Students check their final grades on WebAdvisor and can forward copies of their electronic grades to their parents each term. Students may also print a copy of their grades. Grades are not sent to the student by mail.
Students may request that a printed copy of their semester grades be mailed to parents or any other individual. Forms are available in the Registrar's Office. Grades can be requested for a single semester or the student's entire Hamilton enrollment.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (commonly referred to as "FERPA") is designed to protect the confidentiality of the records that educational institutions maintain on their students and to give students access to their records to assure the accuracy of the content. The Act affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.
Generally speaking, these rights include the right for students to inspect and review their education records, the right to request amendment of their education records if they believe the records are inaccurate or misleading, and the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information in their education records.
Information that may be disclosed is called Directory Information and includes the following: a student's name, home and campus address, e-mail address, telephone listing, parents' names and address(es), date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, photograph and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended. This information is generally disclosed only for College purposes, such as news releases and athletic programs, and not to outside vendors.
Examples of information which are NOT directory information and which are thus not releasable without advanced student permission include the student's schedule, grades, grade-point averages, race or ethnic group, and religion.
Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of directory information. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received on an annual basis. Directory information will then be withheld until the student releases the hold on disclosure or until the end of the current academic year, whichever comes first. Students should use caution when requesting that information be withheld. Employers and lenders will contact the College to verify a student as enrolled, and if directory information has been withheld, we will NOT be able to verify a student's enrollment.
Parents often need proof of their child's enrollment for insurance or other purposes. Hamilton College is a member of the National Student Clearinghouse. Students may generate printable forms by using the Student Enrollment Verification Link available on the Registrar's web page or from a link in WebAdvisor. There is no charge for students to request these verifications. Parents may also request verifications with a correct social security number, but the Clearinghouse will charge a small fee. Generally, a release signed by your child is not required for us to provide this information. A standard proof of enrollment letter contains only directory information.
If information relating to grades or GPA is also required, the student MUST request the Enrollment Verification in writing.