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What Is a Student Profile?

A student profile may be used by a financial aid office to determine the student's eligibility for aid.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2014
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The term “student profile” is used in several different senses in the education community. In all cases, a student profile provides information about a student, but the information can be presented and used in different ways. Student profiles can include data submitted by a student, as well as information which is added by staff members at an educational institution to provide a complete picture of the student. Access to many types of student profiles is restricted due to concerns about security and privacy.

In a financial aid office, a student profile is used to determine eligibility for financial aid and to keep track of the student's accounts and history at the college. Several financial aid offices use a specific document known as the PROFILE® designed by the College Board as part of their financial aid applications, with students filling out the document to provide information about themselves and their financial situations. A typical financial aid profile includes demographic information about the student and parents along with financial information and a full account history.

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Admissions offices also establish student profiles when students apply to a school. The profile is often electronic so that it can be easily tracked and sent to various members of the admissions office for review. The profile includes information from the student such as basic demographics along with admissions essays, and educational records from previous institutions, along with letters of recommendation. Admissions profiles can also include transcripts of interviews, records of interactions with the applicant, and other relevant data. If the student is accepted, the admissions profile will be used to generate a student profile for recordkeeping purposes, with the profile including records of grades, courses taken, and so forth, and being maintained by the registrar and bursar's offices.

Many universities and college also feature casual profiles of their students in admissions brochures and on their websites to appeal to potential applicants. These student profiles are focused on the interests of the students and their courses of study at the school, providing a snapshot of a typical student at a school which applicants can use to determine whether or not the school is a good fit for them. Because these student profiles are open to the public, they are published only by consent from the student, and they do not contain sensitive information.

Students may also be profiled by the media. Many small town newspapers publish student profiles around graduation time so that members of the community can be introduced to students who are graduating and learn more about their plans for the future. A student profile can also serve as a public interest story, with a journalist profiling a student who is doing something interesting, such as organizing a community group, volunteering overseas, or excelling in sports competitions.

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Alchemy
Post 3

@highlighter- Getting the required letters of recommendation to get into grad school can be one of the most daunting tasks of your undergraduate career. I am in the process of preparing my profile for graduate school and I am working on my recommendations.

My advice to you is to work on building relationships with your professors. If you can get three good recommendations from respected professors then you are more likely to get an acceptance letter. I spend a lot of time talking to professors outside of class, attending events that they might organize, and working my hardest in their classes.

For example, one of my professors in my department helped organize a human rights film festival. The festival was interesting, and the following panel discussions were worthwhile, but as much as I was there for the show, I was there to make my presence known to my professor. All I can say is work on building relationships so you can get meaningful recommendations.

Fiorite
Post 2

@highlighter- Under federal law a student has certain rights concerning the release of their student academic profile sheet. The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allow students to control who has access to their student educational information beyond school administrators. As far as I know, you can access your file by contacting your admissions office.

In most cases, the registrar will not allow you to take your file with you so that there is a reduced risk of altering a student file. You can request certain information within a file, like a transcript, letters of recommendation, and the likes, but these are usually issued individually and by request only. I hope this helps.

highlighter
Post 1

Wow, I never knew there was so much information contained in a college student profile. I always thought that a student profile was simply grades, honors, and any disciplinary actions. Does anyone know if it is possible to get your own student profile? In addition, how do I go about getting recommendations added to my student profile? I am getting ready to start my graduate school search so I would like to build up my profile as much as possible.

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