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FYS plans to keep mailing midsemester grades home

Matthew Smedberg | Friday, December 5, 2003

The First Year of Studies will continue mailing midsemester report cards to students’ home addresses, said Eileen Kolman, First Year of Studies dean, despite the Registrar’s decision this year to only post final grades for students on Irishlink.”FYS collects and sends students their midsemester grades because freshman may not be as able to gauge their standing in their classes,” said Holly Martin, an advisor for first-year students. “The grades enable them to make sensible decisions about dropping classes and making their work habits better.” Martin said that upperclassmen are assumed to be able to make those judgments, though professors have the option to give a student a deficiency report in serious circumstances.Martin said that freshmen advisors could not release grades to parents.Upperclassmen do not regularly receive midsemester grades. These students may, however, receive a deficiency report from the Registrar if their professor judges by the middle of the semester that they are in serious danger of failing the course. Both freshmen midsemester grades and deficiency reports are mailed to the student, not to his or her parents.Freshman Kaitlin Shorrock said she was not concerned about her grades being mailed home. “I plan on … printing out my final grades from Irishlink so they can see them too,” she said.Student grades and educational records are addressed to students rather than parents for legal privacy reasons, said associate registrar Lora Spaulding. She added, however, that federal law requires that parents be able to submit a special request, in which they must show that the student is claimed as a dependent on their tax forms, to see student’s grades. The request must be cleared by the registrar and the Office of the General Counsel before information will be released.The University sent an e-mail to students earlier this year announcing that grade reports could no longer be mailed. “The process was, in many ways, redundant,” said Spaulding. “If a student needs a hard copy of his or her grades … our office can provide that easily.”