The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, FERPA, was designed to protect the privacy of educational records and to establish the right of students to inspect and review their non-privileged educational records. FERPA, a Federal law, requires that postsecondary schools, with certain exceptions, obtain a student’s written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from that student’s education records.
However, schools may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent unless the student has advised the school to the contrary. Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without the student’s prior written consent.
If a student does not want to disclose directory information from his or her student education records without prior written consent, the student must notify the school where he or she is enrolled in writing by the first day of the semester at the registrar’s office. A student need only file this notification once during his or her enrollment, and the form is only valid for that school.
Central Georgia Technical College defines directory information as follows:
- Full name of student
- Telephone number(s)
- County of residence
- Email address(es)
- Major and field(s) of study
- Degrees and awards including nature and date received
- Dates of attendance
- School or division of enrollment
- Enrollment status (i.e., full or part-time, undergraduate, graduate)
- Name of institution last attended