Student Privacy Rights under FERPA
In compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), Berklee is prohibited from providing certain information from your education records to a third party. The law also restricts Berklee from providing this information to your parents, spouse, or financial sponsor. You may, at your discretion, grant Berklee permission to release education record information by submitting a FERPA Release Form.
Download the release form: FERPA Release Form (PDF)
Find answers to frequently asked questions below.
FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. It is a federal law that protects the privacy of a student’s education records. FERPA grants specific rights to current and former students, and provides guidelines on how schools may appropriately use and release education records. All educational institutions such as Berklee that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education must comply with FERPA.
Education records refer to any record maintained in physical or electronic format by the institution that contains information that is personally identifiable to a student. Grades, transcripts, student course schedules, billing, assessment of tuition and fees, financial aid (including scholarships, grants, and work-study or loan amounts), and student discipline files are examples of education records.
Students have the right to:
- inspect and review their education records within 45 days of receipt of the request by Berklee.
- consent to any disclosure of their education records to a third party. (Exceptions to the right to consent for disclosure can be found under “Annual Notification of Rights under FERPA” in the Policy Handbook for Students.)
- request an amendment to education records they believe are inaccurate or misleading.
- file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Berklee to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Berklee must notify students annually of their FEPRA rights.
Directory information is a list of items that are considered public information (such as a student’s name, major, and dates of attendance) that can be released to third parties at the institution’s discretion without violating a student’s privacy. Each institution establishes what it considers to be directory information.
A student may, however, request that directory information be withheld by opting out of the directory. Berklee’s list of directory information can be found under “Annual Notification of Rights under FERPA” in the Policy Handbook for Students.
Students may request that Berklee not disclose their directory information to any third parties without the student’s written consent by contacting the Office of the Registrar and requesting to opt out of the directory.
A student's FERPA rights begin when they enroll at Berklee and end upon their death.
This is only allowed under one of the following circumstances:
- Information may be disclosed to parents or family members if the student provides a signed consent form allowing Berklee to disclose education record information to those individuals.
- Information may be disclosed to parents when a violation of federal, state, local, or institutional laws/regulations related to substance abuse occurs and the student is under the age of 21, provided that other laws governing the institution, such as state law, do not preclude such disclosures.
- Information may be disclosed to parents or family members during a health or safety emergency. Note that while appropriate non-directory information may be released, Berklee must document what the emergency was and to whom the information was released.
- Information may be disclosed to parents at Berklee’s discretion if a student is a dependent by the Internal Revenue Service definition on either parent’s most recent U.S. tax return.
The Solomon Amendment is a federal law superseding most elements of FERPA that requires Berklee to provide lists containing student recruiting information to the Department of Defense when requested for recruiting purposes. This information can include the student's name, addresses, telephone listings, age or year of birth, place of birth, level of education or degrees received, academic major, and the most recent previous educational institution in which the student was enrolled. Students may request that Berklee not release information under the Solomon Amendment by contacting the Office of the Registrar and requesting to opt out of the directory.
Additional information on policies and procedures relating to Berklee's compliance with FERPA can be found in the annual Policy Handbook for Students or from the Office of the Registrar.