Rights as a Student and FERPA Guidelines for Staff
Security, Privacy, Responsibility & Your Right to Know
The following provides important information for all undergraduate and graduate students at UMass Boston. It covers the following topics as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA):
- Access to Your University Records
- Your Student Identification Number
- Campus Security
- Financial Aid
- Athletic Participation Statistics
- Institutional Information
- Graduation Rates
Access to Your University Records
A federal law called the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 establishes the following regulations governing access to every student's UMass Boston records.
- This Act sets forth requirements designed to protect the privacy of parents and students with regard to access, review or release of records maintained by educational institutions.
- The Act permits current or former students to review the following documents: permanent academic record, admissions, financial, placement, veteran's, counseling, advising and disciplinary records.
- Access to these records may also be granted to faculty and staff; your parents, if you are a student listed as a dependent on their federal income tax returns; authorized federal or state officials auditing education programs; and accrediting associations
- The following records may not be examined: parents' financial records; medical, psychiatric or psychological records; personal files of faculty or administrative personnel; law enforcement records held by law enforcement officials.
- Directory information may be released to third parties without your written consent, provided you have been given the opportunity to withhold all such disclosure. Directory information includes your name, place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards conferred. In addition, as a public institution we must comply with any request for a list of our students. If you would like to insure that your name is not included on any list, please read the section, Your Right to Restrict Access below.
- The university has contracted with the National Student Clearinghouse to process all request for enrollment and degree verification. Anyone wishing to verify information on an individual student must contact the Clearinghouse at http://www.degreeverify.org.
- The University does not use your Social Security number as the primary identifier.
- Procedure for gaining access to records: Your request for access to a record should be made in writing to the office which maintains the record. The academic record is the only permanent record and is maintained in perpetuity. Medical records are retained by the Health Services Center for seven years. Admissions records for all applicants must be held for three years.
- Any questions and/or challenges concerning these matters should be addressed to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Fourth floor, Campus Center.
- The University discloses education records without a student's prior written consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests in a student's record. University defines "school officials" as any professional employee who is head of an office, department, school, college, division, their specified designee or an agent of the University under contract to the University performing on behalf of the University a function or service that the University normally would perform itself. 'Legitimate educational interests' is defined as a need to know by a University official, a student's educational record, academic status, degree status, enrollment status, student evaluations, research, curriculum evaluation or development, institutional/statistical evaluation and analysis, student placement, public safety, and admission evaluation. The University may disclose, to teachers and school officials in other schools who have legitimate educational interests in your behavior, disciplinary action taken against you for certain kinds of conduct.
Your Right to Restrict or Grant Access
You have the right, as noted in paragraph 5 above, to withhold access to your directory information from any third party. To authorize such restrictions, you should fill out a privacy request form and submit it to the One Stop, Upper Level, Campus Center. Once you have done so, a privacy flag which looks like a blue window shade will be added to your record in WISER and no information can be released without your written consent.
If you wish to grant permanent access to a third party to your WISER academic record you must complete and submit a Release of Information Form. Once access is granted it will remain in place until we receive a written request from you to remove it. Additionally you can grant a third party electronic access to your WISER record via self-service. For more information see: “Add additional user” help page.
If you wish to grant permanent access to a third party to your WISER academic record you must complete and submit a Release of Information Form. This form can be downloaded here. Once access is granted in will remain in place until we receive a written request from you to remove it.
Your Student Identification Number
On admission to UMass Boston, as noted in paragraph 6 above, the University assigns you a student identification number. That is the number which appears on your student ID card. Student ID cards are available from the Student ID office (Campus Center 3rd floor East Side).
The Office of Financial Aid Services and the Student Financial Aid Handbook can provide a wide range of information:
- descriptions of financial assistance programs available at UMass Boston;
- application forms and procedures;
- eligibility requirements;
- criteria for selection and for determining the amount of an award;
- standards of satisfactory academic progress;
- disbursement methods;
- loan terms;
- the conditions and terms for the employment provided as part of a student's financial assistance package.
The handbook also includes a list of individuals to contact for information about study abroad programs that will allow you to apply for UMass Boston financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid Services can be contacted at 617.287.6300.
Under federal law, the Campus Crime Security Act requires colleges and universities to publish certain public safety policies and procedures, as well as the statistics recording the incidence of certain crimes on the campus.
This information can be found in the UMass Boston Student Handbook (available from the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs) or from Public Safety.
You may also call the University's Department of Public Safety at 617.287.7799 with any questions or concerns in this area.
Information about refund policies, return of Title IV assistance, and other requirements for officially withdrawing from UMass Boston is available in the UMass Boston undergraduate catalog and graduate bulletin. These publications also contain information about the case of attendance; detailed descriptions of academic programs, courses, and university facilities; faculty listings; accreditation and licensure information; and special resources and services for students with disabilities. You may request an undergraduate catalog or graduate bulletin by contacting Enrollment Information Services at 617.287.6000.
Information on the number of individuals, by gender, who participated on at least one varsity team is available each year after October 15 from the Department of Athletics at 617.287.7807.
You may request information on UMass Boston's graduation or completion rates by contacting the Office of Institutional Research at 617.287.5420.