Student Rights and Responsibilities

Bentley adheres to the following basic values:

  • A respect for the rights of each person
  • A commitment to treat each person as an individual
  • An acceptance and appreciation of the cultural differences among individuals
  • A respect for the worth and dignity of each person
  • A belief that education and experience provide the potential for continuous growth
  • A commitment to approaching student interaction as an opportunity for education

Bentley students have a responsibility to behave in ways that promote the safety and security of all individuals within the university community. Actions that place community members at a safety risk are not tolerated. The online Student Handbook contains the official list of rights, responsibilities and policies related to student life. Notices of important laws and legal rights are also located in the online student handbook. Questions regarding these rights, responsibilities and policies should be directed to the university’s general counsel.

Notice to Students

Students enrolled in any division or school of the university are responsible for familiarizing themselves with and understanding the implications of all institutional policies, procedures and requirements affecting progress toward their academic goals. These include, but are not limited to, degree and major course requirements, minimum residency and honors requirements and the college’s grading and course repeat policies. Students who fail to comply with these policies, procedures and requirements do so at their own risk.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Bentley University does not discriminate in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, any of its educational programs or activities, including scholarships, loans and athletics, on the basis of race, color, sex, marital or parental status, age, national or ethnic origin, religion, handicap or disability. The college complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Revenue Procedure 75-50 prohibiting such discrimination. Anyone believing that he or she has experienced adverse treatment may register a complaint with the special assistant to the president, Room 308, Rauch Administration Building, Bentley University, 175 Forest Street, Waltham, Massachusetts 02452-4705.

Sexual, Racial and Religious Harassment

It is the policy of Bentley University to maintain an atmosphere that is free from any form of sexual, racial or religious intolerance, intimidation or exploitation. All students, faculty and staff should be aware that the university is concerned and prepared to take action to prevent harassment of any kind. Individuals who engage in such behavior will be subject to disciplinary action. If you believe you are being harassed, please contact the special assistant to the president in Room 308 of the Rauch Administration Building.

The Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990

Bentley University provides annual statistics concerning “criminal offenses reported to campus security authorities or local police agencies.” For a more expansive explanation of FERPA please see the section on “Rights, Responsibilities and Policies.”

Rights Regarding Educational Records

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

This policy is issued in compliance with the regulations established by the Department of Education, 20 C.F.R. Part 99.6, for the university’s implementation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, also known as FERPA. This policy is also guided by the laws in the commonwealth of Massachusetts concerning privacy. The university has established strong policy guidelines that support its adherence to FERPA and also protect the rights of students, except under certain circumstances stated in the statute and its regulations and as noted below.

Access/Amendment to Educational Records

Students and eligible parents have the right to access the student’s educational records upon written request to the Office of the Registrar. An exception to this policy is made for requests from students or others for transcripts and degree information, which may be made directly to the Office of the Registrar. Requests for disclosure of educational records may be made by electronic signature when available. Each department/division of the university will determine if it will assess fees for copies of an educational record or transmission of an educational record to another party. All requests for changes to a student’s educational record must be made in writing to the University Registrar.

Location of Educational Records

Educational records may be kept by the registrar, each committee, board and department of the university and by faculty and staff of the university in paper or electronic form.

Directory Information

Unless otherwise requested by the student, Bentley (Information Desk, Registrar’s Office, Deans’ offices, etc.) may release to the public, student data considered “directory information.” If a student desires that directory information not be released, it is his or her responsibility to notify the Registrar’s Office in writing. Please note that students do not have the flexibility of choosing to release or not release particular items defined as directory information.

Bentley will not sell or give directory information for commercial purposes to external vendors that are not affiliated with the institution. The university may use all directory information for the operation of student organizations or university-sponsored functions. Directory information, as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, includes the following information relating to a student: name, address, email address, photograph, telephone number, date and place of birth, class, enrollment status, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, academic honors, degrees and awards received and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended.

Disclosure Without Consent-Statutory Exceptions

The statute provides that, under a number of circumstances, the university will disclose educational record information to other persons/entities without seeking prior consent or notice to a student or eligible parent. Such examples include, but are not limited to: certain subpoenas and court orders, accrediting organizations, requests in connection with a student’s application for financial aid, certain requests from federal, state or local authorities and disclosure to other “university officials” who “have legitimate educational interests” in the information and records.

“University officials” includes the officers and directors of the university, all members of the administration, faculty, staff, persons serving on judicial, promotion and academic boards and committees, and any professional providing assistance to the university (such as lawyers, accountants, law enforcement personnel, medical personnel).

The university has determined that there are certain persons who have the right to review a student’s educational records and personally identifiable information in every case: officers of the university and the deans. Other university personnel will have access to educational records and personally identifiable information in circumstances where the dean of student affairs, or his or her designee, concludes, based upon the information available to him or her at the time of the decision, that the disclosure of the records and/or information will assist the university in making decisions concerning a student’s academic status or standing at the university or the health, safety or well-being of a student or other members of the university community.

The Dean of Student Affairs or his or her designee reserves the right to contact parents of a dependent student when it has been determined that the student’s success is at risk.

Complaint Procedure

Students have the right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C., 20202, concerning any alleged failure on the part of Bentley to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Drug and Alcohol Violations

The university may inform parents or legal guardians of a student of his or her violation of federal, state, and local laws and university rules and regulations concerning drug and alcohol use and possession.

Health and Safety Emergencies

The university may disclose educational records and personally identifiable information to members of the university community, professionals assisting the university, law enforcement personnel and others when it determines, based on the information available at the time, that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or others and that the disclosure will aid the university in addressing the health and safety threat or emergency.

Results of Disciplinary Proceedings

The university informs individuals who have reported any crime of violence or Title IX and Gender-Based misconduct of the final results of a disciplinary proceeding and the action taken against responding student when the proceeding finds a violation.

Drug Prevention

In compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, Bentley University maintains a drug prevention program for its students and employees. Complete information concerning this issue can be found in the Student Handbook .

Smoking Policy

As of June 1st 2016, Bentley University became a smoke and vape free campus. Smoking (including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes, and any other smoke-producing tobacco products) by students, faculty, staff, guests, visitors, and contractors is prohibited on all properties, indoors and outdoors, owned or leased by campus. All university employees, students, visitors, guests and contractors are required to comply with this policy, which remains in effect at all times. More information about the policy as well as cessation support resources is available at

Bentley University Policy Amendments

The trustees reserve the right to modify amend curricula and to change or modify aspects of university operations, as well as the right to increase tuition and other charges, without notice. Policies and regulations may be amended from time to time by action of the responsible bodies

Affidavits of Voter Registration Forms

Affidavits of voter registration forms for or Massachusetts residents are available in the Registrar’s Office in the Rauch Building. Students who wish to register in another state may not use these forms.

Out-of-state students who wish to vote in their home state must use a mail-in form supplied by the home state or the federal mail-in affidavit of voter registration, which may be obtained by writing or calling the Massachusetts Elections Division, One Ashburton Place, Room 1705, Boston, MA 02108; telephone 617.727.2828 or toll free 800.462.8683 (in Massachusetts only).