CommonApp’s “release authorization” language is limited to documents sent to colleges. It does not protect you when sending documents to non-academic institutions. Without a separate release incorporating language similar to ours, you are violating a student’s rights under FERPA anytime you send a transcript to places such as NCAA Eligibility Center or a foundation in support of a scholarship application.
Furthermore, CommonApp’s “waiver” language only applies to letters of recommendation sent via the CommonApp. It would not apply to documents sent via other means or to other confidential notes in the possession of a college admissions office. Many college students recently exploited this loophole in a well-publicized situation at Stanford University and many other colleges.
Lastly, CommonApp states that students cannot revoke their waiver, which is a direct violation of FERPA §99.12(c)(3), which states that a waiver “may be revoked with respect to any actions occurring after the revocation.”
SCOIR’s release and waiver language more closely resembles language used in the FERPA legislation and provides both high school counselors and college admissions offices greater protection and clarity.