Office of the Bursar graduation cap
The Billing and Payment Gateway of UMass Amherst

FERPA

Why we can’t talk to you about the bill, even if you pay it, without your student’s permission 

  • Under FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), UMass Amherst must have the student's written permission in order to release certain information to a third party, including their parents, guardian, spouse or employer.  
  • Academic information including grades is never released to anyone - except the student.
  • Students: Check SPIRE first. You can get your grades online in SPIRE.
  • Releasable information under FERPA Privacy Waiver Provisions - that can be disclosed with a FERPA Privacy Waiver - includes Bursar billing information, Financial Aid and Housing. 
  • Directory information can be disclosed without a waiver, unless the student chooses to keep it private.

Students: Complete the Waiver in SPIRE

  • Set Up Your FERPA Privacy Waiver in SPIRE.
  • After logging in, click on the My Personal Information link in the main menu, and choose FERPA Privacy Waiver. 
  • During this process, you provide "written" permission to allow selected designees access to information that's allowed by FERPA.
  • You assign a 4-character FERPA access code to the designee(s).
  • Give that code to the designated person(s). They will need it when they phone or email our office for billing information.  

Parents and Guardians

The student should complete the FERPA Privacy waiver and create you (the parent or guardian) as an Authorized Payer to allow full disclosure to financial information. 

  • The student designates their parent or guardian by completing the FERPA Privacy Waiver as explained above.
  • During the waiver process, the student enters the names of the third-party (parent or guardian) and assigns 4-character FERPA access codes.
  • When the third party calls or emails the Bursar's Office, they must provide their FERPA access code.
  • The FERPA Privacy Waiver is not the same as designating an Authoried Payer in QuikPAY.