UMass Boston

Rights as a Student and FERPA Guidelines

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, veterans, 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, participation in sports or recognized university activities & most recent previous educational institution.  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
  • 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 University officials with legitimate educational interests in a student's record. 
    • “University Official” is any individual employed by the University of Massachusetts’ (“System Office’) or one of its campuses, (the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, including the Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst; the University of Massachusetts, Boston; the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, (including its school of law, University of Massachusetts School of Law, Dartmouth); the University of Massachusetts, Lowell; the University of Massachusetts Worcester, a/k/a the University of Massachusetts Medical School,) (individually a “Campus”) who has a legitimate educational interest in the student information.  These individuals include; but, are not limited to instructors; faculty; advisers; admissions counselors; academic advisers; employment placement personnel; deans; department chairpersons; individuals serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; individuals assisting a University Official; directors; law enforcement personnel; health staff; counselors; attorneys; Advancement Office employees; the president; members of the University of Massachusetts' Board of Trustees; auditors; collection agents.
      A University Official may also be an outside contractor or other agent of the University of Massachusetts’ Campus or the System Office, where the Campus or the System Office or both are outsourcing institutional services or functions, and:
      (a) The outside contractors or other agents are under the direct control of the Campus or the System Office or both with respect to the use and maintenance of the education records; and
      (b) The outside contractor or other agent may not disclose the information to any other party without the student’s consent, and may not use the information for any purpose other than the purpose for which the disclosure was made.  In addition, further disclosures may only be made upon the prior written authorization of the respective Campus or System Office.
      A University Official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University of Massachusetts.
  • '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. 

Restricting access:

To authorize such restrictions, please log into WISER and complete the FERPA Directory Restriction eFrom. For detailed written instructions please download the FERPA Directory Restriction eForm instruction PDF below. 

FERPA Directory Information Restriction Instructions

Once completed, 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.

Please be aware that enacting a FERPA restriction will result in the following:  

  • Student name will not appear in the commencement program, or be provided to media outlets for honors (i.e. Dean’s List) and graduation announcements.
  • Verification of enrollment, graduation, or degrees awarded will not be provided to third parties, including potential employers and insurance companies unless specifically authorized.
  • Directory information will not be released to any person on the telephone, in person, or via email.

Granting Additional Access:
If you wish to grant a third-party electronic access to your WISER record via self-service please use the grant additional access function in WISER.
For more information see our video and article in the IT self service Knowledge Base: Give Access to your Account

One Time Release:

If you wish to grant access to your account on a one-time basis. Please use the Release of Information form found on the Registrar forms page.

Solomon Amendment

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:

  • Name
  • Address
  • 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:

  1. Under the Solomon amendment, information will be released for military recruitment purposes only.
  2. The military recruiters may request student recruitment information once each semester within the five branches of the service:
    1. Army: Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard
    2. Navy: Navy, Navy Reserve
    3. Marine Corps: Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserve
    4. Air Force: Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air Force National Guard
    5. Coast Guard: Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserve
  3. The request should be submitted via email clearly identifying the unit of service requesting the student recruitment information.
  4. The request should list what student recruitment information is being requested.
  5. 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

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 BeaconCard Office. Questions about your Beacon Card please email: 

Financial Aid

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.

Campus Security

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.

Institutional Information

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.

Athletic Participation

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.

Graduation Rates

You may request information on UMass Boston's graduation or completion rates by contacting the Office of Institutional Research at 617.287.5420.

FERPA Guidelines for Staff and Faculty

Download PDF: 

Guide to Information Security

Campus Center, 4th Floor
UMass Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125

Phone:  617.287.6200
Fax: 617.287.6242