Privacy Act Policy

The Family Policy Compliance Office (of the U.S. Department of Education) has issued the following guidance concerning the use of directory information.

The following student information items cannot be designated or disclosed as directory information (under FERPA).

A student's:

  • GPA
  • Grades
  • Country of citizenship
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Social Security Number or other student identification number

Items that generally can be designated and disclosed as directory information (under FERPA) include:

A student's:

  • Name
  • Degrees and awards received 
  • Address (local and permanent) 
  • Most recent previous institution attended 
  • Telephone number 
  • Participation in officially recognized activities/sports 
  • Date and place of birth 
  • Dates of attendance 
  • Major fields of study 
  • E-mail address
  • Class schedule/roster 
  • Full- or part-time status 
  • Photograph

Note: The list of directory information items above is not prescriptive , i.e., institutions are not obligated to use any or all of the items indicated; the list simply identifies those items that are generally acceptable for directory information use. Institutions have discretionary authority to designate additional items for directory information use as long as the items are not considered harmful to the student and do not constitute an invasion of the student's privacy, if disclosed (FERPA regulations, 34 CFR, Sections 99.31 and 99.37).

Questions about the use of directory information or other FERPA issues can be directed to the Family Policy Compliance Office by calling 202.260.3887, sending a fax to 202.260.9001, sending an email to, or visiting their website: