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FAQs for Parents

How can I obtain information about my student's grades?

According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law enacted to protect the privacy of student education records, the right to review a student’s academic record is transferred to the student once he or she attends a school beyond the high school level. A written authorization from your student is required for us to release specific academic information to you as parent. We encourage you to talk to your student.

How can I obtain information about my student's course grades, progress reports and exams?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) considers this information to be private, protected information. Parents may not have access to such information unless the school has a written authorization from your student. Again, we encourage you to talk to your student.

How can I obtain information about a class my student is enrolled in?

Information about course topics, expectations, grading policies, and exam dates are often written in a document called a “syllabus.” A syllabus for a course is often distributed to students by a professor or instructor at the beginning of the semester. Syllabi for core math and sciences classes offered by the School of Natural Sciences are also available through the course listing.

How does my student know how he or she is doing academically in class?

Your student can always learn about their academic progress throughout the semester by asking the professor or instructor.

How does my student choose what classes to take?

If your student's major is in the School of Natural Sciences, then he or she can contact one of the school's
A college catalog is available online as well. To find out what classes are being taught each semester, visit the Registrar's website.

How can my student become more involved in class?

Students are encouraged to make time to meet with their professors and teaching assistants (TAs). Students are regularly encouraged to take advantage of a professor's or TA's office hours, with or without an appointment, for assistance.

What can I do if my student is not doing well academically?

The Calvin E. Bright Success Center has many resources to help students who are in need of academic assistance. Their website offers more information about tutoring and study skill workshops. Students are also encouraged to seek academic assistance from their TAs and professors via office hours or appointments.

What happens if my student fails a class?

The EXCEL! program works with students in the School of Natural Sciences individually to establish a study plan to help them return to good academic standing. If your student is experiencing symptoms of depression or other health problems, you are welcome to refer your student to Counseling and Psychological Services for assistance.

Where can my student purchase textbooks?

Students may purchase their new or used textbooks online and pick them up at the Campus Store.

Who can I talk to about my student's academic performance?

If you are concerned about your student's academic performance, you may want to encourage him or her to contact his/her advisor or EXCEL! program staff. It is recommended that your student be responsible for his or her own academic career at UC Merced.