Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Tax Dependent Status
Students are encouraged to maintain an ongoing, open dialogue with parents throughout their careers at Stanford about academic progress and personal development. Most student difficulties are resolved at Stanford without involving parents. The University does recognize, however, that there are some exceptional situations where parental involvement may be appropriate to assist a student through a difficult circumstance. Under those circumstances, Stanford may (but is not required to) choose to disclose information to parents if permitted by law.
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Stanford is permitted to disclose information drawn from education records to parents if one or more parent claims the student as a dependent for federal tax purposes. Some laws, especially those relating to medical and mental health care, prohibit the disclosure of information without the student's consent, even where the student is a tax dependent.