WU parents often play a critical role in a student's education and personal growth, particularly during the undergraduate experience. Advice, counsel, and support from parents can frequently be a deciding factor in the student's academic progress. Students are encouraged to communicate with their parents about the academic, personal, or financial issues they face while they attend Washington University.
As provided by federal law in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the University may choose to release information about the student’s academic performance to parents if the student is claimed as a legal dependent on that parent’s most recent federal income tax return. The University, however, is not required to do so, and prefers that students take the initiative to disclose and discuss academic goals and progress with their parents.
Parents and students who are having difficulty having a meaningful conversation about academic issues are encouraged to contact the student’s academic advisor about the problem. The advisor may want to engage the parent in a conversation together with the student when exploring an issue.