Communication & Student Privacy
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
UMass Lowell is bound by FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) in terms of what can be shared about your student. The university can only disclose information distributed in the informational directory.
We know that parents and family members frequently have questions related to academic information like grades and class registration, or questions about student accounts and billing. Information related to academics or billing is protected under FERPA and is not something the university can discuss with anyone besides the student. Students do, however, have the option of sharing this information with anyone they designate through our student information system (SIS) utilizing UShare Guest Access. UShare is an online tool that allows students to share FERPA-protected information.
Students can also authorize Residence Life staff to speak with parents and family members by logging into the Online Housing Portal and completing a FERPA Waiver Form.
Communication from UMass Lowell to Families
There are times when UMass Lowell will communicate directly with parents or family members. The following section provide information regarding those circumstances, including how UMass Lowell might communicate with parents and family members.
Alcohol or Drug Incidents Involving your Student:
If there is a responsible finding for an alcohol or drug violation for students under the age of 21, parents/family will be contacted by letter detailing that there was a violation and that they can call the Office of Student Conduct for more information.
Conduct Related Change of Status:
The university can contact parents/families when a student has changed status at the university due to the conduct process. This includes situations where a student is removed from housing or suspended during the semester for a violation. This includes any removals or suspensions enacted on an interim basis. Student Conduct staff try to communicate to parents/families with the student present or have the student call themselves with staff present, as the university cannot release additional information without specific express permission from the student.
A member of the Student Affairs or Residence Life professional staff will call emergency contacts (as listed in SIS) when a student is transported to the hospital and is unable to call on their own. This may be due to intoxication, unconsciousness, or mental health reasons. Emergency contacts must be designated as such in SIS, and we are unable to call any other parties outside of the emergency contact.
If university staff are not able to locate a student and determine that the student is missing, staff will call the emergency contact (as listed in SIS) as a step prior to notifying UMass Lowell Police Department.