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Should I waive my FERPA rights?

Hey y'all, I'm a bit confused about FERPA rights. I know we have the option to waive or not waive them in college applications, but what are the benefits of each choice? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

7 months ago

Waiving your FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) rights in the college application process is a personal decision, but here are a few points to consider as you make your choice:

1. Waiving your FERPA rights indicates trust in your recommenders: By waiving your rights, you're showing colleges that you trust the individuals who wrote your recommendation letters and have nothing to hide. This can send a positive signal to admissions committees.

2. Confidentiality may lead to stronger recommendations: Your recommenders may feel more at ease when writing your recommendations if they know you won't be reading them later. This can potentially lead to more candid, and thus more convincing, letters on your behalf.

3. Most students choose to waive their FERPA rights: Waiving FERPA rights is the norm in the college application process. This doesn't mean you have to follow suit, but keep in mind that not waiving them might be seen as uncommon, and could raise questions for admissions officers.

4. Retaining your FERPA rights could lead to doubts: If you choose not to waive your FERPA rights, admissions officers might question whether your recommendations are as strong as they could be since your recommenders know you might read the letters. This could cast doubt on the overall strength of your application.

5. You won't be able to change your decision after submitting: Keep in mind that once you make a decision and submit your application, it's final. If you later decide that you want to waive your rights, you won't be able to do so.

In general, most applicants choose to waive their FERPA rights to show trust in their recommenders and to encourage transparency in the application process. However, it is ultimately your decision, and you should consider your relationships with your recommenders and your own comfort with either choice before making a decision.

7 months ago

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