A recent mass email by the Fountain Hopper (FoHo) captured attention both on and off campus for helping students gain access to their college admissions files. In their email sent late Thursday evening, FoHo provided instructions for students on making a FERPA request for their admissions records.
FERPA, or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, mandates that universities provide students, upon request, with all institutional information and files kept on them. Under FERPA, Stanford has 45 days to provide the requested information, and otherwise risks losing federal funding.
Many students waived their right to view the teacher and counselor recommendations submitted with their application. However, students could gain access to other confidential admissions records, including admissions officers’ numerical and qualitative evaluations of their applications.
FoHo’s email comes amidst heightened scrutiny of college admissions across the nation. An advocacy group sued Harvard University and The University of North Carolina late last year, alleging that their admissions practices discriminated against Asian American students.
University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin indicated that Stanford had not yet counted or processed the FERPA requests submitted following FoHo’s email. However, in a New York Times article written Friday on the incident, a Fountain Hopper staffer estimated that 700 people had completed the request process by Friday evening.
Contact Michael Gioia at mgioia2 ‘at’ stanford.edu.