GS, in conjunction with the Registrar's Office, maintains the educational records of students who matriculate at the School. The maintenance and oversight of these records comply with the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which regulates a wide range of privacy-related activities including management of student records maintained by the University, regulations regarding who has access to student records, and for what purposes access to student records is granted. The Act guarantees students access to their records and allows them to restrict such access to others. Students wishing access to their records must complete a request form available from the Registrar's Office; similar request forms are available from the Registrar's Office if a student wishes to withhold information or reverse a previous request to restrict access. For additional information regarding access to student records, please consult Essential Policies for the Columbia Community.
Questions about the University's interpretation of the FERPA guidelines should be referred to the University's General Counsel in 412 Low Library. For more information on FERPA, consult the Department of Education website.
Note: Educational files maintained by the School of General Studies are archived for five years after a student has graduated. Files of students who withdrew or took a leave from GS are accessible for up to ten years from the last semester of attendance. In all cases, individual requests for student files needing to be recalled from archives should be made directly to the student's advisor. Such files will be ready for review within three weeks of the initial request.