FERPA Guidelines for Faculty & Staff
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law enacted in 1974 to protect the privacy of student education records. It is incumbent upon all employees of the university to protect educational records, be it in files, documents, spreadsheets, and other materials (paper or digital) containing information related to a student.
These guidelines are to help you know what you can and cannot disclose to parents and others about a student’s record. It does not mean you can’t speak with a parent and use general terms to discuss university rules and guidelines. You just can’t give out specific details without permission. Often times, the general information is enough to help the person asking the questions. Information that is protected by FERPA:
Education records include (but are not limited to) student names in conjunction with:
1. Grades or GPA (FERPA)
2. Test scores or grades
3. Student course enrollment or schedules and Class lists (FERPA)
4. Disciplinary records (FERPA)
5. Student financial records (FERPA, and Personally Identifiable Information PII)
6. Payroll records for employees who are employed as a direct result of their status as students (e.g. work study, assistantships, resident assistants)
7. Student identification number (FERPA)
8. Ethnicity, race, or religious affiliation (FERPA and PII)
9. Gender (FERPA, PII)
10. Nationality (FERPA, PII)
11. Social security number or ID numbers(FERPA, PII)
You must not disclose any of the above information without the written consent of the student.
Directory information is public information and can be made public. UMass Boston has determined the following to be directory information:
- Place of Birth
- Dates of Attendance at UMass
- Participation in sports or recognized university activities
- Degrees, Awards, certificates
- Student Employment status
- Most Recent previous educational institution
EMAIL ADDRESS IS NOT DIRECTORY INFORMATION AND WE DO NOT RELEASE IT.
Some FERPA “Danger Zones”:
1. Do not circulate, post, or project on a screen a class list with student names and ID numbers, or home address
2. Do not discuss a student’s progress or grades with anyone other than the student without permission of the student (ex: parents) You can speak in general terms about the polices of your class or the university.
3. Do not leave graded papers or exams in a stack or someplace for students to pick them up.
4. Never require students to put their social security number or ID on any paper.
5. Never disclose information about a student without the written consent of the student.
6. Do not post grades using an identifying information or partial identification.
“When in doubt, don’t give it out”
Please refer to our full FERPA Guidelines on our website
If you have any questions please contact our office Registrar@umb.edu
Solomon Amendment Explained
Solomon Amendment is a federal law that allows military recruiters to access some address, biographical and academic program information on students age 17 and older.
The Department of Education has determined the Solomon Amendment supersedes most elements of FERPA. An institution is therefore obligated to release data included in the list of “student recruiting information,” which may or may not match University of Massachusetts Boston FERPA directory information list.
However, if the student has submitted a Privacy Request Form to the Registrar's Office, to restrict the release of their directory information, then no information from the student's education record will be released under the Solomon Amendment.
"Student Recruitment Information" or "Solomon Information" as defined by the Solomon Amendment:
- Telephone (not specific if local or permanent)
- Student Email address
- Age and date of birth
- Place of birth
- Level of education Academic major Degrees received
- Educational institution in which the student was most recently enrolled
Procedure for releasing information to military recruiter:
- Under the Solomon amendment, information will be released for military recruitment purposes only.
- The military recruiters may request student recruitment information once each semester within the six branches of the service:
- Army: Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard
- Navy: Navy, Navy Reserve
- Marine Corps: Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserve
- Air Force: Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air Force National Guard
- Coast Guard: Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserve
- The request should be submitted via email clearly identifying the unit of service requesting the student recruitment information.
- The request should list what student recruitment information is being requested.
- The request should specify whether the information needed is for the current or previous semester.
All responses to Solomon Amendment requests for information will be reviewed by the Registrar's office. Requesters can expect a response in 5-10 business days.
Military Recruiters are to submit their Solomon requests via email to email@example.com