Ask the FERPA Professors - 50th Anniversary

January 22, 2024
  • FERPA Professor
FERPA Turns 50  This year marks the 50th anniversary of FERPA. In celebration of this milestone, AACRAO and your friendly FERPA Professors have launched a #GoldenFERPA campaign, celebrating the history of FERPA, discussing its current state, and sharing expectations around FERPA for the years to come. All these resources are designed to help you become an expert FERPA implementor on your campus. 

Dear FERPA Professor,  

We define Directory Information at our institution as listed below:
  • Name
  • Birth date
  • Place of Birth
  • Local, permanent and email address
  • Telephone Number
  • Level of classification
  • Major field of study
  • Participation in official college activities and sports
  • Physical factors of athletes (if any)
  • Dates of attendance and earned hours
  • Honors, awards, scholarships, and degree conferral date(s)
  • The most recent attended educational institution 
  • Full-time/part-time status
We are considering recognizing our Dean’s List recipients in a social media post. Our Dean’s List criteria is listed below. Could we include a student’s name and program in a dean’s list social media post? Do we need specific consent beyond directory release opt-in/out, or is the post in violation of FERPA altogether?

  • Term GPA between 3.5 and 4.0 for the term.
  • Full-time enrollment during the term.
  • No failures or course withdrawals during the term.
  • No disciplinary action or sanctions during the term.
Thanks, Mr. Mint


Dear Mr. Mint,

Because your institution has "honors and awards" listed as an item in your directory information notice to students, you are fine to use this as the basis for listing those individuals who have achieved this honor. You would not need to get a signed consent from a student so long as that student has not opted out of directory information disclosures.

I hope this is helpful in responding to your inquiry.  You can find this and more information in the  2012 AACRAO FERPA Guide.

The FERPA Professor

Want the Professor to come to your campus? Visit our FERPA compliance training page.
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