The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. To learn more about these rights, please read our FERPA policy.

FERPA Proxy Request Form

Note: Designating a FERPA Proxy does not grant them access to your tuition bill. To set up an authorized user for your tuition bill, please see this page.

For Students

Emerson's FERPA Proxy Access system lets you grant a parent, guardian, or other third party permission to parts of your student record. You can also set up a passphrase for your Proxy, which authorizes Student Accounts, Financial Aid, Academic Advising, and the Registrar's Office to discuss permitted parts of your record over the phone.

To grant someone proxy access to your record, log in to eCommon and navigate to Student Services > Personal Information > Grant Proxy Access to Your Record.

Screen of Personal Information tab on eCommon

This will take you to your Proxy Management page. To add someone for the first time, select Add Proxy link.

"Add Proxy" link image under Proxy Management

Provide a name and email address and click the Add Proxy button.

Screen of "Add a Proxy" in eCommon

Select the Expand link next to the proxy's name. In the meantime, your Proxy will receive an email to set up an account.

Screen of Registrar Expand Proxy Settings

The page will expand to show you a ProfileAuthorizationHistory, and Communication tab.

Under Profile, select a Relationship type and Description (e.g. Mother), along with a Passphrase. Your Proxy will be asked for this Passphrase if they call an Emerson administrative office. You can also set a Start Date and Stop Date to control when this person will have proxy access.

You must select E-mail Passphrase to inform your proxy of their new passphrase (it will NOT be sent automatically).

Registrar Proxy Passphrase screen

Finally, select the Authorization tab and select specific pages you would like your proxy to be able to view. This information is saved immediately as you make changes.

Proxy for student authorizations

After making your selections, select E-mail Authorizations to let your Proxy know which pages they can view.

For Parents and other Recipients

After an Emerson student designates your e-mail address as a Proxy, you will receive an email with an Action Password and link to set up your account. Click the link and enter your email and Action Password.

On the next page:

  1. Re-enter your email address
  2. Old PIN: Enter the Action Password from your email.
  3. Enter a New PIN: This is your new permanent password.
  4. Validate PIN: Type your new permanent password again.

Registrar Proxy access, set password screen

On the next page you will see a Profile tab, and a tab with name of the student who granted your access. Complete your personal profile here.

Your student will designate specific pages for you to view. You will receive a confirmation email once this is done. Student record information that has been granted to you will be viewable on the tab labeled with the student's name.

Screen of Registrar Proxy authorized pages

If you have already set up your proxy account, you may login here.

Directory Information

At its discretion, the College may provide Directory Information without the consent of the student in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Emerson College has designated the following as Directory Information: Student name, current enrollment, College mailing address (120 Boylston St.), Emerson e-mail address, telephone number, class year, full-time or part-time status, photograph or recorded images, major and minor fields of study, advisor, dates of attendance, degrees, awards and scholarships received, including Dean's List and graduation honors, most recent previous educational institution attended, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams.

The College MAY disclose any of those items without prior written consent unless notified in writing to the contrary.

Opting Out

Students wishing to withhold the disclosure of any aspects of the above-mentioned Directory Information must file a FERPA Directory Information Opt-out Form, available at the Office of the Registrar. The recommendation is to err on the side of caution.

Restricted Information

As outlined by FERPA, a student may not inspect and review the following: financial information submitted by parent(s)/guardian(s); letters of recommendation to which the student has waived the rights of inspection and review; records upon which admission decisions were made; or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to the part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student. The institution is not required to permit a student to inspect and review confidential letters and recommendations placed in the files prior to January 1, 1975, provided the letters were collected under established policies of confidentiality and were used only for the purposes for which they were collected.

FERPA Annual Notice to Reflect Possible Federal and State Data Collection and Use

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records – including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information – may be accessed without written consent.

First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities) may allow access to records and PII without consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution.

Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to education records and PII without consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities.

In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without consent PII from student's education records, and they may track participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about students that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records.

A Special Note to Parents Concerning Students' Educational Rights and Privacy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (commonly referred to as the "Buckley Amendment" or "FERPA") is designed to protect the confidentiality of the records that educational institutions maintain on their students and to give students access to their records to ensure the accuracy of their contents. The Act affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.

Generally speaking, these rights include the right to inspect and review their education records, the right to request amendment of their education records if the student believes they are inaccurate or misleading, the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information in their education records, and the right to contact the Family Policy Compliance Office with a complaint concerning the College’s compliance.

Information that Emerson College may disclose at its discretion is called "Directory Information" and includes the following: name, name of parent(s)/guardian(s), telephone number, dates of attendance, degrees earned, dates of degrees, awards/honors/scholarships, major, sports and activities, height and weight of members of athletic team members, advisor, concentrations, and computer user name.

A few examples of information that are NOT directory information and thus are not releasable without advanced student permission include the student’s schedule, grades, grade-point averages, race or ethnic group, and religion.

Currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of directory information. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received on an annual basis (usually at matriculation with a written request). Directory information will then be withheld until the student releases the hold on disclosure or until the end of the current academic year, whichever comes first.