Rights and Regulations
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Harvard Summer School complies with the following federal and state guidelines.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
Division of Continuing Education policy and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (“FERPA”), provide students and former students certain protections and rights concerning the confidentiality of their educational records maintained by the Division of Continuing Education.
Harvard Summer School routinely maintains records for its students that describe and document their work and progress. These education records generally include records such as permanent and local addresses, admissions records, enrollment status, course grades, reports and evaluations, completion of requirements and progress toward the degree, records of disciplinary actions, letters of recommendations, and other correspondence with or concerning the student.
Under FERPA, certain student information designated as directory information may be disclosed without the student’s consent. The Summer School defines the following student information as directory information for all students: name; date of birth; dates of enrollment; email address; enrollment status; campus mailing address and phone number; and Harvard University ID image. The following information also is considered directory information for Extension School students in a degree program: degree or diploma program; area of concentration; field of study; academic honors; prior degrees and schools attended; and expected or actual date of graduation.
Please note that Harvard University’s definition of directory information may include elements in addition to those used by Harvard Summer School, and that requests for directory information received at the University level thus may result in disclosure of such additional elements.
Students may direct the Division of Continuing Education not to disclose their directory information, usually known as putting in place a “FERPA Block.” To do so, a student must inform the Academic Services office, in writing, of that decision. Download the Harvard University FERPA Block form. Students should be aware of the possible consequences of their decision, such as missed mailings, messages, and announcements, non-verification of enrollment or degree status, and non-inclusion in the Harvard Commencement booklet. Students who have previously chosen to put in place a FERPA Block may reverse their decision by informing the Academic Services office in writing.
Disclosures Permitted Under FERPA
In addition to permitting the disclosure of directory information as set forth above, FERPA permits disclosure of educational records without a student’s knowledge or consent under certain circumstances.
For example, disclosure is permitted to Harvard officials with a legitimate educational interest in the records, meaning that the person needs the information to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities, including instructional, supervisory, advisory, administrative, academic or research, staff support or other duties.
Harvard officials include faculty; administrators; clerical employees; professional employees; Harvard University Health Services staff members; Harvard University Police Department officers; and agents of the University such as independent contractors performing functions on behalf of the Summer School, the Extension School, the Division of Continuing Education, or the University; members of Harvard’s governing boards; and students serving on an official Summer School, or University committee, or assisting another Harvard official in performing his or her tasks.
A student’s education record also may be shared with parties outside the University under certain conditions, including, for example, in situations involving the health and safety of the student. In addition, the Summer School will forward a student’s education records to other agencies or institutions that have requested the records and in which the 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.
If the Summer School finds that a student has committed a disciplinary violation involving a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, the Summer School also may, if legally permitted and in the Summer School’s judgment appropriate, disclose certain information about the disciplinary case. The disclosure may include the student’s name, the violation committed, and the sanction imposed.
To be useful, students’ records must be accurate and complete. The officials who maintain them are those in charge of the functions reflected in the records and the offices where the records are kept. These ordinarily include the Registrar of the Summer School, as well as Academic Services, Student Financial Services, the Dean of Students Office, and program offices.
All students have access to their own education records and may contribute to them if they feel there is need for clarification. Students wishing for access to their education records should contact Academic Services. Ordinarily, students are asked to submit a written request that identifies the specific record or records he/she wishes to inspect.
Access is given within 45 days from the receipt of the request. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student requesting access may inspect and review only the portion of the record relating to him or her. Students also are not permitted to view letters and statements of recommendation to which they waived their right of access, or that were placed in their file before January 1, 1975.
Students should direct any questions they have about the accuracy of records to Academic Services. Should it be necessary, a hearing may be held to resolve challenges concerning the accuracy of records in those cases where informal discussions have not satisfactorily settled the questions raised.
Student Rights Under FERPA
As set forth above, under both Harvard policy and FERPA, students and former students may inspect and review certain of their education records that are maintained by Harvard. They also have the right to exercise limited control over other people’s access to their education records; seek to correct their education records if they believe them to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of their FERPA rights; file a complaint with the US Department of Education if they believe Harvard has not complied with the requirements of FERPA; and be fully informed of their rights under FERPA.
Complaints regarding alleged violations of a student’s rights under FERPA may be submitted in writing within 180 days to the Family Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920.
FERPA and Online Courses
If you are enrolled in online courses, you are protected by FERPA in the same way that on-campus students are. Under FERPA, you are permitted to see your classmates’ names and images and hear their comments and discussion, just as students in courses on campus can know their classmates’ names, see their faces, and hear their discussion.
Video lectures for an online course are available to the public until the late registration deadline for that course. After that deadline, access to the lectures is password-protected and available only to students enrolled in the course.
Harvard Recording Authorization
The Harvard Division of Continuing Education makes video and audio recordings, at its discretion, of the presence and participation of enrolled students in its course offerings, including Harvard Summer School courses. Harvard makes these recordings, or edited versions of them, available to all students enrolled in those courses, as well as Harvard professors, other students, and other Harvard affiliates for educational viewing via television, DVD, Internet, and other means (the “course uses”). Course uses may also include a future term rebroadcast of the course, available to students enrolled in that future term course. In addition, Harvard may make the recordings, or edited versions of them, available to the general public, via Internet, television, DVD, EdX, or other means (the “public uses”).
As part of online registration, you electronically sign your agreement to a Student Recording Authorization. By signing, you grant Harvard permission to include you in recordings for course uses, and you acknowledge that you may elect not to be included in recordings for public uses by sitting in the "no public use" section of your classroom or other course location.
Massachusetts and Harvard University immunization regulations
If you are an international student who will be attending Summer School classes on campus in the US while on a visa of any kind (including the visa waiver program or similar entry programs established between the United States and foreign countries), or if you will be living in Summer School housing (including US citizens), you must comply with Massachusetts and Harvard University regulations requiring proof of immunization against certain communicable diseases. You must have the Summer School immunization form completed and signed by your health care provider or a medical records official. Massachusetts and Harvard University immunization requirements are strict and may differ significantly from other states and countries. See the immunization FAQs for more information on completing the requirements.
We strongly encourage you to receive any required immunizations before you arrive at Harvard, as many health insurance plans will cover the costs of immunizations. If you are unable to obtain these prior to your arrival on campus, you may arrange to get immunizations at various locations in the area. If you have not met the Massachusetts and Harvard University immunization requirements by the deadline, you will receive further information with your check-in instructions, and your check-in will be delayed significantly.
Submit your completed Summer School immunization form to the Registrar’s Office by May 24, keeping a copy for your records. If you do not provide medical documentation as proof of required immunizations, you may be administratively withdrawn from classes and removed from Summer School housing (if applicable).
Registering late does not warrant an exception to this policy.
Following are the diseases for which you must provide certified proof of immunity on the Summer School immunization form:
- Measles (Rubeola): two immunizations on or after the first birthday, at least one month* apart, in 1967 or later
- Rubella (German measles): two immunizations on or after the first birthday, at least one month* apart, in 1967 or later
- Mumps: two immunizations on or after the first birthday, at least one month* apart, in 1967 or later
- Varicella (chickenpox): a history of varicella disease certified by physician or two varicella immunizations at least one month* apart, on March 1, 1995, or later
- Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis immunization: one dose of “Tdap,” on January 1, 2005, or later; only acceptable vaccines are Adacel, Boostrix, or adult acellular pertussis booster
- Hepatitis B: three immunizations, the first and second must be at least one month* apart, the third at least two months* after the second and four months* after the first
- Meningococcal disease: one immunization within the past five years (required of students born after July 1, 1997)
*One month is equal to 28 days
In addition to the above requirements, the following is strongly recommended:
- Your results for the tuberculin skin test (TST) for tuberculosis
For immunizations requiring more than one inoculation (such as measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis B, and varicella), you must submit proof that you have begun the series and had as many of the inoculations as possible within the timeframe/schedule specified on the Summer School immunization form. In this case, you are considered to be in compliance with the requirements for the current summer term.
Documentation of a blood test proving immunity to measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis B, and/or varicella (chickenpox) is acceptable in lieu of immunizations for these diseases. If you do not need to be immunized against hepatitis B because you have had the disease or have a chronic carrier form of it, you must provide documentation of appropriate laboratory tests and a letter from your physician. If you were born in the United States before 1957, you may waive the requirement for proof of immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. If you were born in the United States before 1980, you may waive the requirement for proof of immunity to varicella (chickenpox). If you must meet the immunization requirements because you are an international student attending Summer School on a visa, and you are not living in Summer School housing, you may waive the meningococcal vaccine requirement by signing and submitting the state waiver form. Please note that Harvard’s requirement for meningococcal vaccine is specified on the Summer School Immunization Form and is more rigorous than the Massachusetts requirement.
For more information about the meningococcal disease, please read the Massachusetts Department of Health public health fact sheet.
The only circumstances that may exempt you from these regulations are as follows:
- Providing written certification from your physician that your health would be endangered by one or more of the immunizations (in which case, you will be required to submit laboratory evidence of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, varicella [chickenpox], and hepatitis B as an alternative to proof of immunization),
- Or providing a signed statement that the required immunizations conflict with your religious beliefs. (In this case, it is recommended that you present evidence of immunity as described above.)
In any case, if there is an outbreak on campus of any of the diseases specified on the current Summer School immunization form for which you have not submitted acceptable proof of immunity, you are administratively withdrawn from classes and removed from Summer School housing (if applicable). Unimmunized students are at greater risk of contracting diseases and spreading them to their families, schools, and communities.
US economic sanctions on embargoed countries
If you are generally resident in the Crimean region of Ukraine, please contact the Registrar (email@example.com) about enrolling in online courses.
As required under federal law, the Summer School immediately will refer any missing persons report involving a student who lives in on-campus housing to the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD). If any member of the Harvard community has reason to believe that a student who resides in on-campus housing is missing, he or she should immediately notify HUPD at 617-495-1212. If HUPD determines that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours, then within the 24 hours following this determination, the Summer School or HUPD will:
- Notify an appropriate external law enforcement agency;
- Contact any person the student has identified as an emergency contact under the procedures described below; and
- Notify others at the University, as appropriate, about the student’s disappearance.
In addition to identifying a general emergency contact person, students residing in on-campus housing have the option to identify confidentially a separate person to be contacted by Harvard in the event that the student is determined to be missing for more than 24 hours. Students are not required to designate a separate individual for this purpose and if they choose not to do so then Harvard will assume that they have chosen to treat their general emergency contact as their missing person contact. Students who wish to identify a confidential missing person contact should notify the Registrar. A student’s confidential missing person contact information will be accessible only by authorized campus officials and by law enforcement in the course of an investigation. In addition, if it has been determined that a student who is under 18 years of age and not emancipated has been missing for more than 24 hours, then the Summer School or HUPD will contact that student’s custodial parent or guardian.
All Summer School students are required to provide general emergency contact information when they register. Students also may provide that information by logging in to online services and selecting “Biographical and Contact Information.”
Students who will be living on campus and wish to provide the additional confidential missing person contact information, must submit that information to the Summer School Registrar’s Office.
Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act
The Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act of 1989 prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol by students and employees on University property or as part of any University-sponsored activity. Information is available about the University’s standards of conduct regarding alcohol and drugs, applicable legal sanctions under public laws, health risks associated with the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol, drug, and alcohol counseling and treatment resources on campus, and the disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed in instances of misconduct involving alcohol and drugs. See the alcohol and drug policy on the Harvard University Police Department website.
The minimum drinking age in Massachusetts is 21. To be served or provided an alcoholic beverage, you must demonstrate proof of minimum drinking age by presenting a valid form of identification as determined by the state of Massachusetts. If you make false statements about your age, transfer or abuse your Summer School ID for the purpose of illegal alcohol sale or consumption, or make alcohol available to someone underage, you are subject to Summer School disciplinary action, including probation or the requirement to withdraw from Summer School.
Harvard expects its students and employees to maintain an environment that is safe and healthy. The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on Harvard property or as a part of any Harvard activity are violations of University rules as well as the law. Possession, use, or distribution of certain nonprescription drugs, including marijuana, amphetamines, heroin, cocaine, and nonprescription synthetics; unauthorized possession, use, or distribution of prescription drugs; procurement or distribution of alcohol by anyone under 21 years of age; and provision of alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age are violations of the law and of Harvard policy. Making false statements about one’s age or transferring or falsifying one’s identification with the intent of purchasing alcohol also are violations of the law and of Harvard policy. The University holds its students and employees responsible for the consequences of their decisions to use or distribute illicit drugs or to serve or consume alcohol.
The Summer School may take disciplinary action against students who violate these rules, including requirement to withdraw. If you are of legal drinking age in Massachusetts and you wish to serve alcohol, you must follow these additional rules: when alcohol is present, it must be served in an illuminated area separate from service places for nonalcoholic beverages but near enough to make the choice clear. Nonalcoholic beverages and food must always be available when alcohol is served. Alcohol may not be served or consumed in public areas of a student residence. Beer kegs are forbidden in Harvard Summer School residences. Failure to follow these rules may result in disciplinary action, including requirement to withdraw.
Medical and psychiatric help on a confidential basis is available at Harvard University Health Services for residential students with drug or alcohol problems. Any member of the University may use this service on an emergency basis, day or night. When help is sought by or on behalf of a student in need of emergency care, the Summer School favorably weighs such efforts in considering any possible disciplinary consequences.
The city of Cambridge prohibits smoking in campus offices, dormitories, dining halls, and classroom buildings, including Gutman Conference Center. Smoking is not allowed within 50 feet of Harvard buildings.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Voter Registration Law
The Higher Education Act Amendments of 1998 requires universities to make a good faith effort to make voter registration forms available to you.
You may request a Massachusetts voter registration form at the website established by the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
You may request a Federal Voter Registration Form from the Election Assistance Commission website.
Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act
In compliance with this act, the Harvard security guide, Playing It Safe, is available online at the Harvard University Police Department website. The guide, published by the Harvard University Police, describes Harvard’s security policies, provides statistical information on the occurrence of crime on campus, and outlines some of the counseling programs the University provides.
Privacy of online information
Once you are registered, the privacy of your educational records is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Harvard Summer School does not sell, trade, or rent any information to third parties.
Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and Form 1098-T
The Harvard Summer School must report specific student financial and registration information on a student’s behalf each calendar year to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The 1098-T form is a record of this information. The required reporting includes the total amount billed for qualified tuition and related expenses, and scholarships or grants disbursed in the calendar year. Students are encouraged to provide the Summer School with their Social Security Number or Taxpayer ID number in order for their enrollment and financial information to be reported correctly to the IRS. The Summer School uses MAXIMUS Federal for tax reporting services.
Students may choose to receive their 1098-T form electronically via the Web Advance option or via US mail. Students who choose to receive their forms electronically will receive an email notification when their forms are available to download, usually in early January. Students may select the Web Advance option by creating a new account, or updating an existing account, and completing the identity authentication process. The MAXIMUS Federal website is secure, and all information is confidential. Students who select the Web Advance option will not receive a paper form.
Students will need the following information to create a secure account:
- Social Security Number or DCE ID – students will need to enter either the last five digits of their Social Security Number or their DCE student ID
- Name – student name must be in the same format as it appears on their Summer or Extension School account
A paper copy of the 1098-T form is mailed to students who do not opt to download their forms from the GDIT website. Paper copies will be mailed to students by February 1, 2020. Students should verify and update their mailing address and email address online before December 31, 2019, to ensure prompt delivery and receipt of their 1098-T forms.
Students should direct questions about their eligibility for the American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit to their tax advisors or visit the IRS website.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
Harvard University is committed to maintaining the integrity and availability of the Harvard network for the vital educational and research purposes for which it was designed and prohibits the use of its network to violate the law, including the US Copyright Act. The unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, violates the Copyright Act and may subject you to civil and criminal liabilities.
Students should not use peer-to-peer file-sharing programs to share copyrighted works without permission. Students may subject themselves to significant costs and possible criminal penalties if they share copyrighted material without permission. Harvard University may terminate network access and refer students for disciplinary action who are associated with repeated infringements.
Penalties for copyright infringement include civil and criminal penalties. In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or statutory damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For willful infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine of $250,000 for an individual. For more information, please see the website of the US Copyright Office, especially the FAQs.
Harvard complies fully with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Users of the Harvard network found to have engaged in repeated infringement of copyright are subject to termination of their network access and may be reported to the appropriate Dean or Human Resources officer for disciplinary action. For more information on Harvard’s policy, process and peer-to-peer file-sharing see http://www.dmca.harvard.edu and http://www.dmca.harvard.edu/faq.
A paper copy of this notice is available upon request by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Massachusetts law prohibits any form of hazing in connection with initiation into a student organization. The law applies both to officially recognized and unrecognized groups, and to practices conducted on and off campus. The term hazing, as used in this law, is defined as “any conduct or method of initiation… which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person” (Massachusetts General Laws, c. 269, sec. 17). Hazing is a crime punishable by fine or imprisonment. The Administrative Board considers all reports of hazing in the normal course of its oversight, taking disciplinary action in appropriate cases and reporting confirmed incidents to appropriate law enforcement officials. In addition, failure to report hazing is illegal (Massachusetts General Laws, c. 269, sec. 18). A full copy of the Massachusetts laws relating to hazing is available online and in the Dean of Students Office, 51 Brattle Street, (617) 495-1765.
Student absence due to religious belief
Massachusetts law includes the following fair educational practices regarding student absence from a class or examination. Any student in an educational or vocational training institution, other than a religious or denominational educational or vocational training institution, who is unable, because of his religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he may have missed because of such absence on a particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said student such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his availing himself of the provisions of this section. (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 151C: Section 2B).
The Summer School will make every attempt to accommodate religious conflicts with advance notice of at least two weeks. However, there are situations where an accommodation cannot be made because to do so would change the fundamental nature of the course. This is the case in an online course with a mandatory weekend and active weekend courses. Active and engaged learning on campus with fellow classmates and teaching staff is integral to the pedagogy of these courses as well as the on-campus degree requirement that these courses fulfill. Alternate accommodations cannot be made for courses. Students are required to attend, in person on the Harvard campus, the entire week-end to earn credit for the course.
Students with a religious conflict should contact Academic Services for assistance, 617-495-0977. Click here for information about scheduling a make-up exam due to a religious conflict.
In accordance with Harvard University policy, Harvard Summer School does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran status, or disability unrelated to job or course of study requirements in admission to, access to, treatment in, or employment in its programs and activities.
Address inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies to Robert Neugeboren, Dean of Students, 51 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138-3722, (617) 495-1765.
In addition, inquiries regarding the application of nondiscrimination policies may be referred to the Office for Civil Rights, US Department of Education, 33 Arch Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA 02110-1491, (617) 289-0111, fax (617) 289-0150, TDD (877) 521-2172, OCR.Boston@ed.gov.
Per the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 effective July 1, 2010, Federal law requires Harvard University to disclose certain information about textbooks that instructors assign for courses at Harvard Summer School. The Harvard Coop has agreed to provide this information centrally for all Harvard University schools via the Harvard University Course Catalog website.
You may access textbook information for Summer School courses by searching for summer courses in the catalog and following the link to current textbook information on the Harvard Coop website. Viewing textbook information on the Harvard Coop website does not obligate a student to purchase books from the Harvard Coop.