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How Parents Can Access Information on Their College Student

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My son will be starting college next year. He'll be 18. Can we still get his grades and health-related information? - M.L., Farmville, Va.

When your son turns 18, you lose many parental rights unless you have special legal documents. A HIPAA authorization form signed by him will permit you to receive information from health care providers. A health care power of attorney naming you as his "medical agent" will allow you to make medical decisions for him if he is unable to do so. A Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) waiver, usually available from the college, lets you see his grades.

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