Ask the FERPA Professor

May 15, 2023
  • FERPA Professor
cartoon figure reminiscent of Einstein stands in front of a chalkboard with the board "FERPA" written on it

Dear FERPA Professor,

We currently have class schedules listed as directory information. Is this permissible under FERPA? Our legal team provided the data below and suggested that we remove course schedules from directory info; however, I wanted to reach out to you to see if FERPA permits us to list class schedules as directory info?
FERPA protects personally identifiable information in students’ education records from unauthorized disclosure. FERPA defines education records as “records that are: (1) directly related to a student; and (2) maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution” (20 U.S.C. § 1232g (a)(4)(A); 34 CFR § 99.3). These records include, but are not limited to, transcripts, class lists, student course schedules, health records, student financial information, and student disciplinary records. It is important to note that any of these records maintained by a third party acting on behalf of a school or district are also considered education records.


Mr. Lee

Dear Mr. Lee,

Your legal team is correct in its reading of FERPA.  Class schedules are education records, as are all the FERPA-permitted directory information items if they are associated with a student.  "Directory information" is information contained in a record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. (See § 99.3 "Directory Information" in the FERPA regulations.) Student course schedules do not fit this definition and, thus, including them as a directory information item has not been deemed appropriate by the U.S. Department of Education.

I hope this is helpful in answering your question.  You can find the above-cited regulation on page 153 of the 2012 AACRAO FERPA Guide.

The FERPA Professor

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