Students studying

​Report card day — for years it was part of the parent-child routine. Good grades might mean a celebratory ice cream cone. Bad grades? Forget that pajama party.

But this is college, and CMU registrar Karen Hutslar is used to hearing this: “What do you mean I can’t see my kid’s grades?”

Don’t blame her. Once a young person enrolls in college, their educational records are private, protected by FERPA — The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

“Once students are enrolled at a college or university, they’re adults, but parents often view it differently,” Hutslar says. “They've been involved in their son’s or daughter’s education since kindergarten.”

But now, you have to ask your son or daughter.

“We hear from some parents who are angry, but the numbers are small,” Hutslar says. “Some parents say, ‘I pay the bills — I should see the grades.’”

In most cases, students readily share their grades with their parents, Hutslar says.

But sometimes...

“We’ve had students come up with some pretty clever stories why they can't call their grades up and show their parents,” she says. “Parents should know the grades are always available.”

Grades are available the Friday after final exams week for fall and spring semesters and the Thursday after for summer terms, she says.

If a student has password or login issues while trying to access grades, the help desk, at 989-774-3662, is available from 7 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to midnight Sunday.

“A student’s grades can be viewed from anywhere in the world,” Hutslar says. “If you take a family trip to Spain, you can view your grades in Spain.

“We consider students adults, and they should be responsible for their records,” she says. “It’s up to them to share their grades with their parents, and the majority of students do.”

Taking responsibility for grades is one step toward independent adulthood, Hutslar says.

“If you think about it, if your son or daughter weren't in college, but instead they were working or in the military, would you call your son’s or daughter’s boss or commanding officer to see how they’re doing on the job? “This is part of the growing-up process,” Hutslar says. “You need to let them be responsible.”