When Parents Call

We understand that as a parent, you want to know all about your student -- what they're doing, how they're doing, and when they're doing it. That's a natural part of the college transition process, and we fully expect it. But we want you to know that we are limited in what we can tell parents, mainly due to FERPA.

  • What is FERPA?

    Essentially, FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Read more about FERPA here on the UNC Registrar's website.

  • What information will you give me about my student's dining account?

    We are happy to speak with parents about meal plans, dining dollars, pricing, and general information, but we will not give out information that is specific to any student without their explicit consent.

    Most UNC students are 18 years of age or older, and the meal contract is legally their contract.

  • My student filled out a FERPA release form. Why can't I get the information now?

    There are two main reasons we don't give out student dining information to parents.

    The first reason is because the FERPA form is stored electronically in a system we don't have immediate access to. The second reason is because we are not able to verify the identity of who we are talking to over the phone. We have to be very careful about who we give information to and how we do that.

    Once we confirm that the FERPA form has been signed, is up-to-date, and is on file, we will email the information to the student, informing them that their parent has requested the specific information. In the email to your student, we will explain that it is up to them to share that information with you.

    (Note: We see this as a great opportunity for you to contact your student and talk to them about their dining plan. You can have a conversation about how many times they're using their meals in the dining rooms, if they're running low on Dining Dollars, or if they are getting nutritionally sound meals. This is also great practice for your students to work on finding this kind of information out for themselves - and how to do that. It's a great learning opportunity.)

  • Written Consent

    If your student is truly OK with giving their parents access to their dining information, they will need to fill out the FERPA form in our office, in person. We will have a conversation about what information this gives their parents access to, and we will watch them sign it. 

    We are committed to keeping your student's information safe and secure and out of the wrong hands.