Skip navigation

FERPA Privacy Waiver - Get Started

FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a federal law protecting the confidentiality of student records. In compliance with FERPA, the University of Massachusetts Amherst must have students’ written permission in order to release information from their records to any third party, including their parents, spouse or employer.  Use this Waiver to provide "written" permission electronically to allow a few selected designees access to relevant portions of your student record.

Why Use the FERPA Privacy Waiver?

Your parents or others may need access to your financial or housing information to help resolve problems.
Use this Waiver if your parents, guardian, or spouse need to communicate with the University about financing your education or securing housing. This Waiver allows you to designate a few individuals who can contact the University on your behalf.

You can edit or cancel your designees at any time.
Use SPIRE to add up to four designees, who may contact one of the participating offices (Financial Aid Services/Office of the Bursar or Housing Services) on your behalf. SPIRE gives you 24-hour access to editing or canceling your designees.

The Waiver does not apply to your academic record. Under this Waiver, University staff cannot discuss academic information (e.g., your grades) with your designees.

The Waiver does not apply to your directory information. Directory information is considered public information and may be disclosed without your consent (unless you choose to keep it private).

How the Waiver Works

Note: The Waiver covers Financial Aid/Office of the Bursar and Housing Services only, and does not apply to your academic record (e.g., your grades) or your directory information.

Note: Your Waiver remains in effect two semesters after you leave the University unless you remove your designees.

  1. Read the Waiver Provisions and make sure you understand the types of information you are disclosing.
  2. On the Add/Edit Designees page in SPIRE, name up to four individuals who may contact the University about your student information. Assign each of these individuals a 4-character Access Code (like a PIN), and specify the type of information they can request from the University. Learn how to add a designee.
  3. Give your designees their Access Code, and explain the type of information they can request from the University. Include the contact information for the appropriate office.
  4. Each time they contact the University on your behalf, your designees need to provide their Access Code. University staff may disclose the information specified in your Waiver via telephone, U.S. mail, email, or in person.
  5. Once your designees' access to your student information is no longer needed, you can remove their names from the Add/Edit Designees page in SPIRE. This will cancel their privilege to request information about you from the University. Visit the Add/Edit Designees page any time to add more designees, and edit or cancel your current designees.