EXCLUSIVE: Slew of College Students’ Private Info Shared With Third Parties for Political Research

There are no parent-teacher conferences in college.
If a parent wants to know their student’s grades, the status of their student’s meal plan, or if they have dropped out of school without telling anyone, the school needs signed permission from the student and a personal identification number from the parent. Without that, because of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the school can tell parents next to nothing.
Without explicit student permission, this strict privacy policy prevents parents from knowing what classes a student is taking, even if parents are footing the bill.
Yet many colleges are freely handing over troves of FERPA-protected information to be analyzed for political research in exchange for a short report measuring the success of campus voter registration activities….

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