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Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)

Family Educational Rights & privacy act (ferpa)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords certain rights to students concerning the privacy of, and access to, their education records. In compliance with FERPA, MassBay is prohibited from providing certain information from student records to a third party such as information on grades, billing, tuition and fees assessment, Financial Aid (including, but not limited to, grants, scholarships, work study or loan amounts) and other student record information. This restriction applies, but is not limited to, parents, spouse or sponsors.

The act applies to all institutions that are recipients of federal funding and administered by the Secretary of Education. An exception to FERPA is the Solomon Amendment. See below for information.


  • Students, who are currently or formerly enrolled in credit and non-credit classes, regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependency, are protected.
  • FERPA does not apply to records of applicants for admission who are denied acceptance or, if accepted, do not attend MassBay.


  • Under FERPA, once a student reaches the age of 18 OR attends a school beyond the secondary level, they become an eligible student and all rights formerly given to parents are transferred to the student.
  • At the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent right to access a student’s education record.  The right of access in limited solely to the student, even if the student is under 18.  Records may be released to parents ONLY under the following circumstances (1) through written consent of the student, (2) in compliance with a subpoena.


A student may grant a third partyaccess to their academic information by completing MassBay's FERPA Release Form. 


Students have the right to be notified annually by the College of what student record information the College designates as “directory information,” and the right to request that no student information be designated as directory information.
The College identifies the following student information as directory information: Name, Mailing and Permanent Address, Electronic Mail Address, Telephone Numbers, Date and Place of Birth, Awards, including Dean’s List, Full/Part-time status, Major/Program of Study, Semesters of Attendance, Whether or Not Currently Enrolled, Date of Actual or Expected Graduation, Degree/ Certificate Attained, participation in officially recognized activities and sports sponsored by the College, weight and height of athletic team members, and photograph. Directory information may be released by the College to a requesting third-party without a student’s prior written consent.

A student has the right to request that none or only some of his/her student record information be designated as directory information. A student must notify the College’s Registrar, in writing, within two (2) weeks of the beginning of each academic semester if he/she does not wish to have any or some of his/her student information designated as directory information.

Notwithstanding the College’s definition of directory information, the Department of Defense (the “DOD”), pursuant to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 (the “Solomon Amendment”), identifies the following information as “student recruiting information”: NAME, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE LISTING, AGE (year of birth), PLACE OF BIRTH, LEVEL OF EDUCATION (e.g. freshman, sophomore), DEGREE AWARDED, MOST RECENT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION ATTENDED, and CURRENT MAJOR(S).

If the College receives a request for student recruiting information from the DOD, or one of its affiliated agencies, the College will release the student recruiting information requested. Because the information sought by the DOD may include information not designated as directory information under the College’s policy, compliance with the DOD’s request may result in the release of personally identifiable information. When student recruiting information is released pursuant to a DOD request, if it includes additional personally identifiable information beyond what the college designates as directory information, then notice of the request and the release of the information will be posted in a conspicuous location in the College’s Registrar’s Office for a period equaling one academic year. If a student has exercised his/her right to request that no information be designated as directory information, then no information shall be released to any third party, including the DOD.


The Solomon Amendment is a federal law that allows military recruiters to access some address, biographical and academic program information on students.

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 MassBay's FERPA directory information list. Students who wish to restrict release of their information must submit a Restriction of Directory Information Form. Please note: completing a Directory Information Non-Disclosure Request form restricts disclosure of directory information to any party other than the exceptions allowable under FERPA, including the inclusion of a student’s name on public graduation lists and honors notifications.


Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington D.C. 20202-5901 39


For more information about FERPA, including information specifically for parents and students, visit the U.S. Department of Education.