Privacy Release Update
Starting July 22, 2021, the BYU-Idaho Student Financial Aid Office will no longer discuss students’ financial aid accounts with their parents/spouse without the student present. This change is to better align with the Department of Education’s Higher Education Act (HEA) to ensure students’ financial information is treated with the utmost privacy.
If a parent/spouse wishes to discuss the student’s financial aid account, the student must be present. Three-way calling, Zoom, and other technological resources are acceptable means to allow a student and parent/spouse to both be present during a financial aid meeting.
A student’s account may be discussed without the student present only through a Power of Attorney. Before any student information is released, the Student Financial Aid Office must be provided with the official Power of Attorney documentation. A copy of this documentation will be made and kept active on the student’s account until the Power of Attorney expires.
Currently, the BYU-Idaho Student Financial Aid Office adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. FERPA provides that specific information in a student’s educational record cannot be shared with a third party without the student’s authorization. However, the HEA limits the use of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data sharing, with written consent, to organizations “assisting the applicant in applying for and receiving Federal, State, local or tribal assistance that is designated by the applicant to assist the applicant in applying for and receiving financial assistance for any component of the applicant’s cost of attendance” (Financial Aid Data Sharing).