FERPA-Helpful Tips

What is directory information?

Directory information may appear in public documents and may otherwise be disclosed by the University for any purpose in its discretion, without the student’s consent. The following categories of information have been designated as directory information at Missouri State University:

  • Name
  • Address (residence hall, current mailing & primary/permanent)
  • Telephone number (residence hall, current or primary/permanent)
  • Cell phone numbers, unless provided as a residence hall, current, or primary/permanent telephone number, are NOT considered directory information
  • University email address
  • Field of study, including majors, minors, certifications, and pre-professional areas of study
  • Classification (e.g. sophomore)
  • Enrollment status (full-time, three-quarter time, part-time, or less than part-time)
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports, including photographs of athletes
  • Dates of attendance, including matriculation, drop, and withdrawal dates
  • Degrees and certificates received including date awarded
  • Awards received, including Dean's list, scholastic honors, departmental honors, memberships in national honor societies, athletic letters, and University-funded scholarships (excluding those that are need-based)
  • Previous education institutions attended

When do the student’s FERPA rights begin?

According to the law, a person becomes a student for purposes of FERPA when they are "in attendance" at an institution. In attendance means a student is officially registered for at least one class and that class has started.

When do the student’s FERPA rights end?

Deceased students are not covered under FERPA; however, it is the University's policy not to release educational records of deceased students for a period of 25 years after the student's death. We recommend that anyone requesting information on a deceased student be referred to the Office of the Registrar.

Telephone conversations with students/alumni

When speaking with any student/alumni by telephone, and before you disclose any Non-Directory information, always confirm the individual’s date of birth and full Social Security Number, if applicable.

Also confirm at least two or three of the following items (confirmed in Banner on the SPAIDEN screen) until you are confident that you are speaking ONLY with the student:

  • Major and/or Minor
  • Classes attended during the last semester (Instructor Name, Instructional Method)
  • Advisor Name
  • Final GPA
  • Address (residence hall, current, or primary/permanent)
  • Beginning term and year attended
  • Ending term and year attended
  • Institution previously attended or transfer credits
  • Personal Email

*Instructors: To ensure you are speaking with the correct student, use information specific to the course/student, based on your relationship with that student. Examples would be last test/quiz scores, topics discussed in class, etc.

Note: If you have any doubts that you are not speaking to the student, do not release any Non-Directory information by phone! Ask the individual to come in person with a valid picture ID.