In high school, students' grades and other records are considered their parents' property as much as their own. In college, students' academic and medical records are considered their own property. Penn's policy regarding student information is that students are adults, and the University generally will not share their academic and other records (apart from directory information) with third parties without their explicit consent. This is in accordance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Though there are situations in which the University can choose to divulge information without a student's consent (for example, if they are listed as dependents on their parents' tax returns), for the most part, students must decide who has access to their academic record. They can indicate whether or not they wish their parents or others to see their educational records using the Privacy Settings screen on Penn InTouch.
As students begin their careers at Penn, it is very important for them to think carefully about their own responsibility and to have a discussion with their families about these confidentiality rules. The College expects students to be aware of their grades, course registration and all other aspects of their academic career.
The Penn InTouch system provides 24-hour access to this information. The pre-major advisor is there to help students make the most of their academic career, and the University provides a wide range of support services for both academic and non-academic concerns. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with these services and make use of them when appropriate. While there are many people at Penn who can help, ultimately it is the student who must take responsibility for the decisions he or she makes.