As parents and students prepare for college this fall, we want to share two documents to keep in mind: a Heath Care Proxy and FERPA waiver.
1) A Health Care Proxy gives parents of children 18 years or older health care information affecting their child. At the age of 18, teens are entitled to medical record and financial privacy. Without permission, doctors cannot share information because of regulations under the federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). However, if families prepare important documents in advance of sending their children off to college, including a health care proxy, parents will be granted access to their child’s medical information.
2) The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records such as their grades and financial aid information. A FERPA waiver gives parents full access to their student’s grades and information about financial aid. We suggest you ask your child’s institution about a FERPA waiver prior to the start of school.
For additional college planning resources, please refer to Putnam’s Four-Year Action Plan for college students.