Federal law protects the confidentiality of student records and specifies the limited situations in which information from educational records may be given out without a student’s prior consent. Yale regards its students as responsible adults, capable of managing their own lives and seeking guidance when necessary. Thus Yale’s policy is that disclosure of information to parents except in extraordinary circumstances is limited to information concerning a student’s enrollment at the University. See Yale’s statement on “Student Education Records (FERPA)”.
Parents are therefore notified in the following situations:
When a student withdraws from the University for any reason; and
When a student has been placed on suspension or expelled from the University.
Cases in which Yale would, in extraordinary circumstances, notify parents or guardians cannot in the nature of things be completely enumerated or described; but it is, for example, the judgment of Yale College that a serious injury to a student, or a violent crime committed upon a student, are sufficiently grave occurrences as to constitute extraordinary circumstances. Yale College, therefore, as a matter of general policy, notifies parents of such events. In addition, the College may judge that parents should be notified concerning the existence of serious concerns or threats to a student’s health, either physical or emotional. Although in most such instances students will be encouraged themselves to inform their parents, the University reserves the right to notify parents directly and/or to ensure that parents have been satisfactorily informed. Yale College recognizes, however, that special circumstances might cause a student to believe that notification of parents would be undesirable or inappropriate. In such a case, the residential college head and dean will discuss the matter carefully with the student, and as appropriate will consult the Yale College Dean’s Office, Yale Health, or the Office of the General Counsel. In certain individual instances, Yale College may then conclude that it is not in the student’s best interest that parental notification take place, and in that event an exception to the general policy will be made.