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Earlier this year, a group of Stanford students wrote a widely publicized article that encouraged other college students nationwide to request to see their admissions files through the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Following the publishing of the article, the number of FERPA requests made by students dramatically increased at universities across the country.

Universities have responded to FERPA requests made at their schools in different ways. Penn, for example, planned to take out certain comments from applicants’ files before presenting the files to students. Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford provided students with admissions officers’ comments and scorecards.

Brown, however, is taking a much less lenient route. The university is giving students who make FERPA requests access to their Common Applications, transcripts, and recommendation letters if the students had not previously waived their access to them. However, unlike other universities, Brown is providing little to no access to documents involved in a student’s admissions decision.

The inconsistency results from the language of the FERPA, which simply says that students have the right to view their “education records.” Brown is not considering internal admissions files part of the academic record and thus is not required to provide them to students.

Read more at The Brown Daily Herald

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