Parents, guardians, and other family members are important members of the Calvin family and essential partners towards maximizing the lifelong benefits of Christian higher education. They have faithfully nurtured their students and are highly invested in the process of preparing them for a lifetime of Christian service and fulfillment. Most parents desire to continue providing that support and involvement during the college years.

The college years are an exciting time of personal development and change, and this is especially evident in the parent/student relationship. Calvin’s philosophy of student development is based on the belief that university students are most successful in their transition towards becoming responsible Christian adults when the university interacts with them accordingly.

Towards this end, Calvin’s operational policy regarding university/student communication is that the primary communication link from the university is through the student. FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also provides guidelines that support and direct this policy.

Even though this communication policy is the operative principle, parents may still gain access to student record information. FERPA states that parents may gain permission to access student records if the student is currently claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes. However, out of common courtesy and respect for the student and his/her rights, parents should still request access to those records and statements through the student who would then authorize that the requested information be released to the parents.

Financial Information

Each student has a Workday Student Account where all charges are posted. This includes tuition, housing and meal charges as well as non-tuition type charges such as health services charges, student life activities, orientation fee, off-campus program fees, athletic equipment, etc. More information can be found here: Financial Services Office

Students can grant their parent/guardian or other person access to their financial information, including statements and bill pay, using Workday. If you need access to view or pay your student’s bill, encourage your student to grant you proxy access to their Workday account. More information and instructions can be found under the "Information for...Parents" heading at the bottom of the Workday resources page.

Calvin has partnered with GradGuard Tuition Insurance to help protect your college investment. GradGuard can reimburse up to 100% of your tuition payments after a forced medical withdrawal due to covered illness, injury or mental health condition. Please see the "Tuition Insurance" info from the financial services office for more information.

Academic Progress (Grades)

Academic progress reports (grades) are available to students online via the Center for Student Success after each semester. Final grades are posted in Workday. For first-year students only, mid-term grades are also posted in mid-October. This mid-term grade report can serve as a "wake-up call" for new university students, many of whom discover that higher education is much more challenging than high school academics.

Parents may encourage their student(s) to grant them proxy access to final semester grades. (First-year midterm grades are not available via proxy access.) Instructions can be found under the "Information for...Parents" heading at the bottom of the Workday resources page.

All communication regarding academic probation and academic dismissal is directed to the student.

Enrollment Verification Requests

The Center for Student Success (CSS) is equipped to provide letters which verify a student’s current enrollment at Calvin University. Use the "verification request" form (student and parent versions) on the CSS forms website.

Students with Disabilities

Calvin University Disability Services coordinates services to students who have documented disabilities. When a student discloses a diagnosed disability to the university, coordinators in Disability Services determine and provide appropriate services, accommodations, advocacy and support to the student. All student documentation is confidential, and information regarding students with disabilities who receive the services cannot be shared with parents or others without a consent form signed by the student. These forms are available from Disability Services, located in the Center for Student Success, Spoelhof Center, suite 360.

Health Services

Calvin provides outpatient medical services for students. By law and professional obligation, Calvin Heath Services protects patients’ rights to privacy and confidentiality. No information pertaining to a student’s health can be released to anyone, including family members, faculty, or staff, without the student’s written consent. In the rare instance when there is risk of imminent danger, when the law requires it, or if a public health policy requires it, minimal information may be disclosed in accordance with the HIPAA policy. Beyond these rare situations, students are responsible for notifying family members or guardians about any personal health problems.

Center for Counseling and Wellness

Providing a private and confidential environment is the cornerstone of any mental health counseling process. Calvin students who are legal adults receiving outpatient mental health services through the Center for Counseling and Wellness are assured that no information pertaining to their treatment will be released to anyone, including family members, faculty, or staff, without their written consent. For Calvin students who are not yet legal adults, Michigan law allows for some counseling sessions to be provided without the consent of a parent or guardian. In the rare instance of a Calvin student where there is risk of imminent danger or the law requires it, minimal information may be disclosed to assure safety and legal compliance. Beyond these rare situations, just as with medical records, students are responsible for notifying family members or guardians about any information pertaining to their mental health records and treatment. Further supports and information for parents as related to the mental health of their student can be found on the Parent/Guardian Resources page of the Center for Counseling and Wellness.

Discipline or Crisis

If a student receives a minor disciplinary sanction (e.g., a warning, a fine) for some violation of the student conduct code or residence hall regulations (e.g. noise violation, minor "open house" violations, smoking issues, etc.) the university will not normally contact parents. If parents learn about such an incident, it will occur at the discretion and initiative of their son or daughter rather than from a phone call or letter from Calvin officials.

There are some exceptions. Any alcohol violation, incidents involving illegal or controlled drugs, or other severe incidents will result in parental notification. In addition, other serious violations of the student conduct code that result in disciplinary probation or suspension (e.g. sexual misconduct, theft, repeat offenses, academic dishonesty) will also result in parental notification. In some cases a letter or email may be sent to parents by the university. Other times the preferred method is to give the student a short but reasonable time frame during which to make the first contact with parents. Parents are then asked by a son or daughter to contact the university for further discussion with the area coordinator, director, or dean.

In situations involving imminent danger such as suicide attempts and hospitalizations, contact with family members will be initiated. (Typically, the hospital that admits the student will contact the parents. University officials would make a follow-up call or provide assistance directly to parents at the hospital.)

For complete information on the university discipline process and procedures please refer to the Office of Student Support, Accountability, and Restoration (OSSAR).