Ask the FERPA Professor

Greetings FERPA Professor,

In the past our institution has released the GPAs of student athletes in press releases if they were to be honored for an award.  I believe this to be a violation of FERPA because student GPA is not included in our directory information.  Can you please advise on how other institutions handle this and if this is a violation?


Row D. Piper


Dear Row,

Directory information is defined as information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.  See §99.37 "Directory Information" on page 153 of the 2012 AACRAO FERPA Guide and §99.37(a) on page 166.  The College could disclose information on student athletes who receive a honor or award so long as the College has included "honors and awards" as a directory information item in its notice to students.  If it is not included, then the students would need to sign a consent form as outlined in §99.30 of the FERPA regulations prior to any such disclosure.

I hope this is helpful in answering your question.


The FERPA Professor

FERPA in Orlando. Spend two days diving into the work of the Registrar's Office at the Registrar 101/FERPA Workshop March 24-25, 2018, in Orlando. This workshop is for those new to the profession and will address many of the 'what' and 'how' questions that make up the work of the registrar.

Or, if you have at least five years of experience in the profession, join Registrar 201 and explore major competencies and proficiencies of the registrar profession, FERPA beyond the basics, and look to the future of the profession. 

After the preconference workshop, stay for the AACRAO Annual Meeting, March 25-28, 2018.

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