MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
For Advisors
The First Year at MIT

First-Year Academics: Grades and Student Privacy

In dealing with information about individual students; faculty advisors, instructors, and staff should always be aware of the need to protect students' privacy. MIT's Student Information Policy explicitly addresses the responsibilities associated with handling student information. Consult also Section 1 of the Academic Guide.

Within the Institute, student information should be made available only to those officials with a legitimate need to know it. With few exceptions, it should NOT be made available to others—including parents and guardians—except with a student's specific, written consent.

Official versus Unofficial Grades

MIT's educational policy is to provide internal "hidden" grades to first-term freshmen and their advisor solely for educational and advising purposes. These unofficial grades will stay hidden and are never included on an external transcript. MIT will never communicate the student’s internal grades to parents or any other third party outside of MIT without the student’s specific written permission. See Student Information Policy for complete information.

At the end of the first term at MIT, freshman advisors will be provided with hard copies of their advisees' unofficial grades.

The complete policy on the release of freshman hidden grades can be found in Section 8 of the Academic Guide.

Interaction with Parents and Other Third Parties

The Student Information Policy can sometimes make it awkward when an advisor is questioned by a parent about an advisee's academic performance or status. Maybe the student has already shared some of this information with his or her parents, or occasionally a parent may have opened a grade report or Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) letter even though these are always addressed to the student.

A more complete statement of MIT's policy regarding disclosure of student information to parents and guardians can be found in section 6.1

Grades for Scholarships or Internships

Please note that, as the advisor, you cannot give your copy of the hidden grades to the student, nor can you provide grades for references, scholarships, or internships, etc.

Sometimes freshmen need to provide a transcript with grades when applying for scholarships, internships, or for insurance purposes. It is strictly against MIT's student educational policy for you or the student to use the hidden grades reports for any purpose other than advising.