Access to Records

The educational records of all matriculated students at Cornell, regardless of student age, are protected under both the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the Cornell University Access to Student Information Policy 4.5. Under these policies, matriculated students are treated as legal adults, with the responsibilities and privileges inherent in that status. They are expected to make decisions about course work, classes, social life, and their personal well-being. They also are expected to learn from and take responsibility for the consequences of those decisions.

To view Cornell’s policy online, visit:

The university regards a student’s enrollment status (for example: registered, on leave, withdrawn) as directory information that may be released unless a student submits a “no-release” request to the University Registrar. Additionally, where the university believes that it is in a dependent student’s best interest, information from the student’s educational records may, at the university’s discretion, be released to the parents or legal guardians of such a dependent student. Such a disclosure generally will be limited to information about a student’s official status at the university, but parents or legal guardians of a dependent student may also be notified when a student has voluntarily withdrawn from the university or has been required by the university to withdraw; when a student has been placed on academic warning; when the student’s academic good standing is at issue; when a student has been placed on disciplinary probation or restriction; or when a student otherwise engages in behavior calling into question the appropriateness of the student’s continued enrollment at the university. Unless otherwise indicated in writing by the student at the time of registration or thereafter, the university will presume that a full-time undergraduate student is a dependent as that term is defined in the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Undergraduate students who are not financially dependent and do not wish to permit their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to have access to their education records should advise the Office of the University Registrar in writing and provide evidence of financial independence. Graduate and professional students are not assumed to be financially dependent upon their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) for these purposes.

Students who want additional information on access to their records may contact the Office of Student Services, 180 Statler Hall, or the Office of the University Registrar, B7 Day Hall. An inventory of those student records maintained by Cornell University offices in Ithaca, their location, and cognizant officers are available in the Office of the Dean of Students, 401 Willard Straight Hall.