College students must give schools permission to provide educational records to their parents. By Jane Bennett Clark, Senior Editor August 21, 2012 Sorry, you’ll have to ask your child to provide the school with written permission. Students over age 18 or attending college have legal control over their educational records and must waive that right before the school can disclose their grades -- even to parents who are footing the bill. (Most colleges provide a waiver that students can fill out if they choose to do so.) DOWNLOAD: The Kip Tips iPad App Schools may make an exception if your child is involved in a health or safety emergency or has violated the law or the school’s policy on drugs or alcohol, or if you provide documentation that your student is a dependent for tax purposes. The smart strategy? Ask your kid to sign the waiver at the beginning of the semester, before he or she has any reason to say no. This article first appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. For more help with your personal finances and investments, please subscribe to the magazine. It might be the best investment you ever make.