Have You Ever Wanted To See Your College Admissions Record? Find Out How!


Have you ever wanted to know what’s in your college admissions file, but never thought you’d find out since it’s kept on lock down like the nation’s secrets lie within it? Well, now you can read it all thanks to the Fountain Hopper for shedding light on the process of requesting those super secret documents.

The ability to view your confidential files is nothing new, really. Actually, the ability to do so has been available to students for 40 years. Students can gain access to this information as a result of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), but it’s not something that many students, both past and present, were unaware of until recently.

Stanford University students involved with the Fountain Hopper, a student led online newsletter, have taken it upon themselves to see first hand how admissions offices work behind closed doors by drawing attention to FERPA and urging other students to requests of their own. Their message was heard loud and clear as roughly 1,000 students are reported to have sent in requests to see their confidential files.

The Stanford University admissions office is probably not too thrilled with being inundated by students requests, but there isn’t much they can do about it since they are required to furnish any records requested by students within 45 days according to the information provided on the FERPA website. Failure to do so may result in federal funding being revoked or worse.

Stanford University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said in an email to Palo Alto Online, “I could not speak about the Fountain Hopper in conjunction with this effort. They have simply shared a 40 year old federal policy.”

The Fountain Hopper decided to spread the word on January 15 by sending a detailed message to anyone subscribing to their newsletter via email. The message read, “Below is The Fountain Hopper’s tried and tested Five Step Plan for getting hold of your admissions records, including qualitative and quantitative reviews by your admissions readers.”

The students behind the Fountain Hopper weren’t kidding about providing a five step plan, either. The message has five super detailed and easy steps to follow with supporting information that pretty much covers any questions that may pop up during the document request process. There are even templates provided to assist students in their request. They’ve provided a “nice option,” a “less nice option” and a final option for students who aren’t in the mood to sugarcoat things.

One student involved with the Fountain Hopper said, “College admission is really important…to be able to succeed in the world that we are in. We believe in the admission process, but everyone should have an equal right to the information that happens inside that black box.”

The Fountain Hopper is eager to see how many students receive their admissions records once the 45 day return period has passed. They are hoping that anyone successful with their FERPA request will contribute to their mission and let them know how their school responded and what documents are returned.

The email sent says, “When people start getting stuff back, we’ll push a full demystification of the numbers and jargon in the documents.”

So, what do you say? Do you want to see what’s going on inside the black box?

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