Notices & Disclosures
The Executive Director of Student Services and the Vice President for Student Affairs are responsible for notifying students annually of their rights under FERPA. The annual notice is to appear in the Boston College Bulletin and in the Boston College Student Guide.
All non-directory information is considered confidential and will not be released to outside inquiries without the express written consent of the student.
Student Rights Under FERPA
Boston College maintains a large number of records regarding its students in the administration of its educational programs, as well as its housing, athletics, and extracurricular programs. The University also maintains employment and financial records for its own use and to comply with state and federal regulations. Boston College is committed to protecting the privacy interests of its students and to maintaining the confidentiality of student records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
These rights are as follows:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education record within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
Any student who wishes to inspect and review information contained in an education record maintained by any office of the University may, with proper identification, request access to the record from the office responsible for maintaining that record. Unless the circumstances require the existence of a formal request, an oral request may be honored.
Whenever an office responsible for maintaining education records is unable to respond, the student may submit to the Office of Student Services, dean, academic department head, or other appropriate official a written request that identifies the record he or she wishes to inspect. The University official shall provide access within 45 days after the University receives the request, and shall notify the student of the time and place the record may be inspected. If the record is not maintained by the University official to whom the request is submitted, that official is to advise the student of the correct official to whom the request is to be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education record if the student believes that information contained in his or her record is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of his or her rights of privacy.
Any student who believes that information contained in his or her education record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her rights of privacy is to write to the University official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record he or she wants changed, and specifying why the record should be amended.
If the University concludes that the record should not be amended as requested, the University will notify the student, advise the student of his or her right to a hearing and provide information about the hearing process.
- The right to consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education record, except to the extent permitted under FERPA. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to University officials with legitimate educational interests, which may include employees in administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); members of the Board of Trustees; and students serving on an official committees, such as a disciplinary or grievance committees, or assisting another University officials in performing their tasks. University officials may also be contractors, consultants, volunteers or other outside parties to whom the University has outsourced institutional services or functions that would ordinarily be performed by University employees. The University may disclose education records without consent to officials of other educational institutions that have requested the records and in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Written complaints may be directed to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C., 20202-4605.
All Boston College employees whose job responsibilities include matters related to student financial aid are expected to maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct and must adhere to this Code of Conduct in compliance with Federal regulations. The Executive Director of Student Services shall notify these employees annually of their obligations under this Code.
- Prohibits all revenue-sharing arrangements with lenders. The University will not promote or recommend any lender in exchange for a fee or other material benefit from that lender.
- Does not request or accept offers of funds for private loans, including opportunity pool loans.
- Certifies loans from any lender selected by a borrower without undue delay, and will not direct a first-time borrower’s loan to a particular lender.
- Ensures that the process through which the student signs a Master Promissory Note preserves the student’s right to select the lender of his or her choice.
- Does not arrange for alternate loan programs that disadvantage students or parents not enrolled in the program or receiving such loan terms.
- Prohibits the request or acceptance of staffing assistance from lenders.
- Prohibits employees or agents of a lender from identifying themselves, either directly or by implication, as an employee of Boston College to students, parents or any persons seeking information from Boston College.
- Bases the selection of lenders for a preferred lender list solely on the best interests of the students and parents.
- Fully discloses the selection process for a preferred lender.
- Provides borrowers with consumer information about the loan products offered by the lenders on a preferred lender list, including any agreements lenders have to sell their loans to other entities.
- Informs students and parents that they are not required to use any of the lenders on a preferred lender list and can select any lender of their choice.
Every Boston College employee involved in any aspect of the loan process (this includes, but is not limited to, the Financial Aid staff, both on the main campus and at the Law School, and the Enrollment Management staff) must avoid any situations that create a potential conflict of interest between the employee’s personal or outside interests and his or her role and responsibilities as an employee of Boston College, and must disclose to his or her supervisor any potential conflict as it arises.
Specifically, staff members must not:
- Solicit or accept gifts with more than a de minimis value from any business entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid, including, without limitation, cash payments, stocks, club memberships, favors, discounts, lodging, meals, entertainment, and services. This prohibition extends to a staff member’s family (includes staff member's and spouse's: parent or stepparent; sibling or step-sibling; child or stepchild; and grandchild or step-grandchild, as well as a child's spouse and a sibling's spouse).
- Undertake any activity, whether compensated or not, outside of Boston College that has the potential to create a conflict of interest with the staff member’s duties as a financial aid professional employed by Boston College, including accepting any fee, payment, or other financial benefit as compensation for any type of employment, consulting or other arrangement with a lender, guarantor, or servicer.
- Receive any compensation for serving on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors. A staff member wishing to serve on an advisory board must seek prior approval from his or her supervisor, and may be reimbursed only for reasonable expenses while serving on an approved advisory board.
Staff members should understand and adhere to all institutional policies and any local, state and federal requirements that are applicable to their conduct or job performance. Any staff member who has a question whether a particular situation or activity creates a conflict of interest or violates any law or policy should immediately notify their supervisor prior to commencing such activity, or at the earliest time when such a question arises. Supervisors shall contact the Office of the General Counsel upon receipt of any inquiries.
Certain personally identifiable information from a student’s education record, designated by Boston College as directory information, may be released without the student’s prior consent. This information includes name; term, home, local, and electronic mail addresses; telephone listing; date and place of birth; photograph; major field of study; enrollment status; grade level; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; dates of attendance; school/college of enrollment; anticipated date of graduation; degrees and awards received; the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended; and other similar information.
A student can prevent the release of all directory information including verification of enrollment, and may suppress selected directory information either to the Boston College community or to the general public. In order to do this, students must visit www.bc.edu/myservices to suppress the release of all or selected directory information. Suppression is available by selecting Privacy Preferences. Student directory information will not be blocked from faculty and staff conducting official University business.
All non-directory information is considered confidential and will not be released to outside inquiries without the express written consent of the student unless an exception under FERPA permits the disclosure. For more information, access Boston College's Student Educational Records policy.
When a student reaches the age of 18, or attends a postsecondary institution regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer to the student. Guidelines for the disclosure of information to parents are as follows:
- Parents may obtain directory information at the discretion of the institution.
- Parents may obtain nondirectory information (e.g., grades, GPA) at the discretion of the institution and after it is determined that the student is legally dependent on either parent.
- Parents may also obtain nondirectory information if they have a signed consent from the student.
Official communications of the University with its currently enrolled students, including notices of academic and administrative matters and communications from faculty and administrative staff, may be sent via postal service, campus mail, or e-mail. To assure that these communications arrive in a timely manner, all enrolled students have the following responsibilities:
Postal Service and Campus Mail
For purposes of written communication, the student’s local and permanent addresses on record at Student Services will be regarded as the student’s official local and permanent residences. All students have a responsibility to provide both local and permanent mailing addresses, and to enter corrections at www.bc.edu/myservices if the addresses are not accurate in University records. Students should review their address record for accuracy at the beginning of each semester, and again soon after submitting any corrections.
Students who are studying abroad have a responsibility to provide their local international address with the Office of International Programs.
The University recognizes and uses electronic mail as an appropriate medium for official communication. The University provides all enrolled students with Boston College e-mail addresses, as well as access to e-mail services from computer stations at various locations on campus. All students are expected to access their e-mail accounts regularly, to check for official University communications, and to respond as necessary to such communications.
All student responses to official e-mail communications from the University must contain the student’s Boston College e-mail address in the “From:” and “Reply To:” lines, and should originate from the student’s Boston College e-mail address, to assure that the response can be recognized as a message from a member of the University community.
Students may forward their e-mail messages from their Boston College e-mail address to non-university e-mail systems, if they wish. In such cases, however, students shall be solely responsible for all consequences arising from such forwarding arrangements, including any failure by the non-university system to deliver or retain official University communications. Students should send test messages to and from their University e-mail account on a regular basis, to confirm that their e-mail service is functioning reliably.
Boston College believes that every student has a responsibility to be an engaged community member. To that end, we have partnered with TurboVote to provide you with the information and materials you need to vote in every election from local to presidential.
TurboVote allows you to easily register to vote online, verify or update your voter registration, request an absentee ballot form by mail, and sign up for text and/or e-mail election reminders. You may learn more about this service at bc.turbovote.org.