"...information contained in an education record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed." (1988 Final Regulations) FERPA allows institutions to specify certain elements of the education record as directory information. Such directory information may be disclosed without student consent. Information typically designated as directory information includes:

  • name
  • address(es) - including email addresses
  • telephone numbers

See Cornell College Directory Information for items that may be released.

Directory information can NEVER include:

  • Social security number
  • Student identification number
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Nationality
  • Gender

Can directory information be released to anyone who requests it?

NO - If the student has requested that directory information be withheld, no information can be released (a) to anyone outside of Cornell except as provided by law or (b) to anyone within Cornell who does NOT have a legitimate need to know.

YES - If the student has NOT requested that directory information be withheld.


* Adapted with permission from the 
University of North Texas FERPA Training.
** Additional information adapted from the 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.