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Stanford admission records released to students

After filing requests under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), several Stanford University students received usually private details from their Stanford student record.

The requests, which were directed toward the Office of Admissions, prompted the school to release to the students admission details that included numerical scores based on essays and other factors, as well as officers’ written thoughts. One student reported that they also received a list of every time their student ID was used to unlock a card-access door. Students who did not waive their right to see letters of recommendation were able to receive those as well.

The students were prompted to request copies of their academic records by an anonymous Stanford publication, The Fountain Hopper, which published instructions online for filing a request under FERPA. That law, which requires that students be given access to their educational records, gives schools 45 days to respond to requests.

“A smattering of these kinds of requests” is common, Stanford University spokesperson Lisa Lapin told the New York Times. She acknowledged that the Fountain Hopper’s instructions prompted an increase in requests.

Some MIT students have taken an interest in the news; threads linking to the New York Times article have been posted on the Moira lists ec-discuss and r-h-t. The thread on r-h-t alluded to the privacy concerns that might be raised by card-access records being kept indefinitely.

—William Navarre