May an educational agency or institution disclose directory information without prior consent?
Education records that have been appropriately designated as "directory information" by the educational agency or institution may be disclosed without prior consent. See 34 CFR §§ 99.31(a)(11) and 99.37. FERPA defines directory information as information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. 34 CFR § 99.3.
FERPA provides that a school may disclose directory information if it has given public notice of the types of information which it has designated as "directory information," the parent or eligible student’s right to restrict the disclosure of such information, and the period of time within which a parent or eligible student has to notify the school in writing that he or she does not want any or all of those types of information designated as "directory information." 34 CFR § 99.37(a). A school is not required to inform former students or the parents of former students regarding directory information or to honor their request that directory information not be disclosed without consent. 34 CFR § 99.37(b). However, if a parent or eligible student, within the specified time period during the student's last opportunity as a student in attendance, requested that directory information not be disclosed, the school must honor that request until otherwise notified.