Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (commonly known as the Buckley Amendment) is a federal law, which provides that colleges and universities will maintain the confidentiality of student education records. The law basically says that no one outside the institution shall have access to students’ education records nor will the institution disclose any information from those records without the written consent of students. There are exceptions, of course, so that certain personnel within the institution may see the records, including persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.

What is considered directory information?

In compliance with FERPA, the following statement reflects the Pratt Institute’s policy. 

The following directory information may be released by telephone: student’s dates of attendance; date of graduation; major field of study and degree earned. Other kinds of directory information, such as a student’s address, email address, telephone listing, awards received, and the most recent previous education agency or previous institution attended, will be released or verified only in response to a written/online request. Pratt Institute reserves the right to refuse the above information if the reason for the request is not considered to be a sufficient need-to-know.

Information regarding the student’s record: parents name, grades, courses, GPA, social security number, birth date and other personal information will not be released without the student’s written consent.
Additional FERPA information can be found here

Health and Safety

What do students do when they get sick?

The Health and Counseling Offices offer primary care services to all students Monday through Friday, 9 AM–5 PM. The offices are staffed by nursing and medical professionals. A nurse is available every weekday, throughout the day. Appointments are encouraged but walk-ins are also seen. If a student has a medical emergency during the weekend he/she should call 911.

Pratt also provides on-campus mental health services and can refer students to specialists off campus. There are individual and group therapy options. Students are seen individually by appointment unless there is an emergency. A mental health professional is on call through Pratt Security for emergency situations when the office is closed.

Are students required to have health insurance?

All Pratt students are required to have medical insurance. The Pratt student health insurance is provided through Aetna Student Health, a partner of Aetna. The policy is a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), which has a network of providers and facilities agreeing to provide treatment at pre-negotiated rates. Although you may go out of network, this will increase out-of-pocket expenses. A brochure outlining the policy is available online on our website and through Aetna’s student Health Portal. 

How can students waive health insurance if they are already insured?

Students can go to the Student Health Insurance page to register for, or waive the insurance. Your student will be directed to create an account and enter his/her current insurance policy information. Your student should have his/her insurance information available as he/she goes online to register. After registering, an email confirmation will be sent. Waivers must be completed must be completed every Fall semester and last for the entire academic year.

What do you do to ensure my student's safety?

Generally, Pratt is a safe place, but crime may happen anywhere. You can educate your student about safety on and around the campus community by teaching your student ways to keep property safe (such as taking portable electronics with them at all times, locking doors, and locking bikes), and by letting them know that personal and property safety are individual responsibilities. Additional campus safety information is available online here.

Campus and Student Life

What are the biggest adjustments during the first year?

First year students are faced with the transition to a college schedule and workload, being away from home, being on their own, and managing their money. It is a rough transition but can be made much easier if support is made readily available from home. Keeping in touch with your student is important, but allowing your student to have their independence and grow on their own is the key to a smooth first year and start to a college career.

Where can they study?

Pratt has a library where tables and work spaces are available for studying, but many students choose to study where they feel most comfortable. Many students find their own space in the dining room, and cafes on campus as well as cafes and coffee shops in the surrounding area.

What kind of meal plan options does my student have?

Pratt offers a number of meal plans that cater to how regularly your student wants to eat on campus at designated eateries such as the main dining room, convenience store in Willoughby Hall and PI shop. The meal plans are designed on a debit card system on their ID cards; the student’s meal plan points decrease as the student purchases items. A meal plan point equals one dollar, however, the cost of meal plans is fixed and unused points will not be refunded at the end of the semester (for optional plans) or year (for mandatory plans).Points not used on Yearly Plans in the Fall semester are added to the Spring semester allotment. All unused points at the end of the academic year are forfeited.

All students living in Stabile, ELJ, Cannoneer Court, and Pantas, and all first-year students under the age of 21 living anywhere on campus are required to have either an approximately 14 or 19 meals per week meal plan. Students can opt for larger plans if desired. Students not living in the aforementioned areas, upperclassmen, and commuters may opt for a year long or semester only plan.

With all meal plans, students have the option to add points at any time during the semester in $25 increments. This process is done online. 

Do students need a car?

At Pratt, just as in New York City, a car is a luxury and not a necessity. Public transportation is the most efficient way to travel in Brooklyn and around the city, and Pratt is conveniently located a few blocks away from the G train. If your student does decide to have a car on campus, parking must be considered. Parking on campus is by permit only and availability is extremely limited. 

What should s/he bring?

Your student is provided a room, bed (twin extra-long), a drafting table or desk, chair, dresser, and window coverage.  Sheets, towels, bathroom toiletries, and other necessities and luxuries may be brought from home. There are various stores in the area where supplies can be purchased, so if something is forgotten at home it shouldn’t be too much cause for worry. Something to consider, however, is that there isn’t too much space in the rooms, so minimalism is key for a more comfortable living space. Floor plans and layouts of residence hall rooms can be seen here.

My student is having difficulty with their roommate, how can you help?

The first step would be for your student to have a talk with his/her roommate to determine the root of the problem and if there are ways to fix it. If the problem persists, however, a Resident Assistant (RA) can be consulted to mediate and further action can be taken if necessary.

Academics

What kind of academic support do you offer?

In addition to the available support from faculty, Pratt offers the Writing and Tutorial Center (WTC) for academic support. The WTC provides academic assistance from individual or small group writing tutorials to specific tutoring in various subjects and across all levels of intensity on both a scheduled and walk-in basis.

Do students need a computer on campus?

Students in the following programs have required hardware specific to their degrees: Architecture (both undergraduate and graduate), City and Regional Planning, B.F.A in Film,  M.S. or M.F.A. in Communications Design, and Interior Design.

Other majors have recommended hardware. 

The requirements and additional information can be found here.

If you have any questions concerning these programs, please email laptop@pratt.edu.

Financial Aid and Tuition

How can my student get financial aid?

All students requesting financial aid consideration should contact the Office of Student Financial Services at Pratt for a financial aid estimate after filing the FAFSA.

To be considered for most kinds of financial aid, applicants must complete the FAFSA by March 1 since most aid is need-based. The Presidential merit-based scholarship, International Merit Scholarship, National Scholastic Scholarships, do not require completion of the FAFSA. We do encourage all families to submit the FAFSA, however, in order to qualify for all aid possible. More information can be found here

Once students are accepted, they will receive notification by email that their financial aid package is posted online. Pratt students who wish to attend summer school or study abroad must also fill out the Summer Application for Financial Aid.

How Can Tuition be paid? and what forms of payment does Pratt accept?

Pratt Institute will no longer accept debit/credit cards directly in-person, by mail, fax, or over the phone for payment of tuition, housing, meal plan, and fees. However, debit/credit cards can be used to pay online through Point & Pay via your MyPratt Portal account. Point & Pay is an independent third party processor who accepts payments credit card payments and charges a non-refundable convenience fee based on the amount charged. Credit card payments will incur a fee of 2.5% PER TRANSACTION which is assessed by Point & Pay, our third party payment processor and not Pratt. 

For checking or savings account debits, we encourage you to use the electronic check (ACH bank transfer from a U.S. checking or savings account) option so that you are not assessed a convenience fee. Other alternative payment methods include traveler's checks, cashier's checks, money orders, and cash (in person only). 

Cash and paper checks can be processed at the Student Financial Services window on the 6th floor of Myrtle Hall during normal business hours.  All paper checks must be payable to Pratt Institute in U.S. dollars and drawn on a U.S. bank. Please include your student ID number on the check. We do not accept foreign coins or currency for payment.

International Students can use FlyWire to make tuition payments. Additional information is available at www.flywire.com

Additional information regarding Billing and Tuition payments can be found here.