Is It True You “Can’t Look At Your Kids’ College Grades”?

You’re bleeding money to pay for your son’s college. You hope he’s attending class, studying for exams, and getting help when he’s stuck. But is he? Some people say that you can never know for sure, because, “parents aren’t allowed to look at their kids’ college grades.” Is this actually true, though?

college grades

Nope. It’s not true at all.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. It is true that because of FERPA laws enacted in 1974, colleges can’t show you — or tell you — any academic information about your child. But here’s what can happen. Your child can tell you himself. The college student you love can log you in and show you that he or she is OK.

“But what if my kid doesn’t want to show me his college grades?”

Here’s my suggestion. Wait until he asks you for money.

Then, when he’s standing there with his hand out, say, “Sure, Son, I’d love to help. But first, could you log me into the computer and show me your grades, and your bank statement, and your credit card statement, and where you currently stand with student loans? I like to do my due diligence before I invest my money in anything.”

This kind of attentive care may one day get your kid out of a very tough spot.

Many older 20-somethings today wish their parents had talked to them pointedly during college about their grades, credit card debt, and student loan debt.

I hope that when the two of you log in together, you’ll see a long record of excellent, responsible choices. But if you don’t, you’ll be able to help your child think through what resources and options might help.

“What if I do this and I uncover really bad news?”

Well, then you’ll be able to think through whether you want to continue to bleed money for a college student who doesn’t want to do his part.

If your child is actually failing college or thinking of dropping out because of poor college grades, be sure to read the kind, helpful post I wrote on that subject here.

I know that we want the college students we love to be responsible and take care of their own affairs. Some of them will. But for some, maturity develops more slowly. For these students, a little kind parental noticing can save years of financial and career pain on down the road.

Remember, getting good grades in college is only a small part of the picture when it comes to getting your kid through college debt-free and into great jobs after graduation.

For clear, step-by-step help with the whole process from beginning to end, get your copy of my book:

It’s a reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing cover to cover. Pick out what you need to read in it using the fast-paced, 10-minute video instructions here.

You can see more than 100 reviews of it on Amazon at:

(Tell your friends.)

You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCHhere.

You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCHhere.

Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.

And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.

Take a step on this right now. Get regular, inspiring help from me—every Monday morning.

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Do you have friends who are parenting kids ages 18–26?

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What about you? What strategies have you found for kindly supporting college students who are struggling academically?

Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26, their parents, and the professionals who serve them. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free, ready to move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazineand US News and World Report, and on CBS News.

Jeannie also helps students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school at her website You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.