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Should I Waive FERPA?

I've recently come across the topic of FERPA and I'm unsure whether or not to waive my rights. Can someone explain the pros and cons of waiving FERPA and any potential consequences? Your insights will definitely help me make an informed decision!

7 months ago

Waiving your FERPA rights can have both pros and cons, so let's discuss them to help you make an informed decision.


1. Demonstrates trust: By waiving your FERPA rights, you show colleges that you trust your recommenders to write honest and candid letters of recommendation, which can be seen as a positive sign by admissions officers.

2. Encourages recommender honesty: When you waive your rights, your recommenders might be more open and honest in their evaluations because they know you won't be reviewing their letters. This candor could result in a more powerful and genuine letter of recommendation.

3. Admissions evaluation: Some colleges may consider whether a student has waived their FERPA rights during the evaluation process. Waiving these rights can signal that a student has nothing to hide, which might be seen favorably by admissions officers.


1. No chance to review recommendations: If you feel uncertain about your recommenders or their ability to write strong endorsements, you may be hesitant about waiving your FERPA rights. By not waiving your rights, you could potentially review the letters of recommendation to ensure their quality.

2. Limited recourse for negative recommendations: In rare instances where a recommender provides a negative evaluation, waiving your FERPA rights means you won't be able to review the letter and take any necessary action to address the situation.

3. Potential stress for recommenders: Knowing that you have retained your FERPA rights may cause some recommenders to feel additional pressure or stress when writing your letters, which could potentially affect the quality of their evaluation.

Overall, waiving your FERPA rights is generally considered a good idea, as it demonstrates trust in your recommenders, encourages honest evaluations, and can be seen favorably by admissions officers. However, if you have concerns about your recommenders' ability to write strong letters or if you want to retain the option of reviewing the recommendations, you may choose not to waive your rights. Keep in mind that doing so may have potential consequences as noted above. It's essential to weigh these factors carefully before making your decision.

7 months ago

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