FERPA Tutorial

Directory Information

Briefly defined, FERPA requires colleges and universities to define the information that they will release without a student's prior written consent. Northern Illinois University 's definition contains a list of those “directory information” items that may be released:

  • Student name
  • Address
  • Telephone listing
  • E-mail address
  • Photographic or electronic picture or image
  • Date and place of birth
  • Major field of study
  • Classification
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Dates of attendance
  • Full or part-time status
  • Degrees and awards received
  • and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student

One common misconception is that FERPA requires us to release student information. It does not. Accordingly, you should err on the side of not releasing information when you are in doubt. If questions arise regarding the release of student data, consult your immediate supervisor or contact the Office of Registration and Records.


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