University Catalogues

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Rights Regarding Educational Records

The Family Educational Rights and Policy Act (FERPA) 

FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment, gives students the right to inspect and review their educational records to ensure the accuracy of their contents.

Under federal law, colleges are not allowed to release any information to parents or others about a student’s educational record or disciplinary proceedings without the explicit written consent of the student. Written permission to allow access to a student's record is obtained through the Registrar's office. Questions should be directed to:

Annual Notification

Students and parents receive notice of FERPA and their rights under FERPA through the electronic publication of the Student Handbook each academic year.

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 their 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 who 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 include the officers and directors of the university, all members of the administration, faculty, staff, persons serving on conduct, 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.

The dean of student affairs or their 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.

Bentley University Policy Amendments

The trustees reserve the right to modify or 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 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). You can also get this online