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Guidelines for Retention of Student Exams, Papers and Grade Books

Under FERPA, exams, papers, and grade books are educational records and should be maintained in a secure location.  The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)* recommends the following retention schedule:

  • Exams/ graded course work: one (1) year after course completion (if  the work is not returned to the student)
  • Faculty member’s grade books: five (5) years after course completion

For those courses stored in Blackboard:  Instructors’ materials remain in their Blackboard courses for three (3) years after the last day of the semester; however, all student information in a Blackboard course becomes unavailable 60 days after the last day of the semester.  To retain important information including student submissions and grade book entries, instructors must download the material.  More information on is available at the UR Blackboard resources site (http://blog.richmond.edu/blackboard/2013/08/30/retaining-grades-and-student-materials/).

Faculty members who leave the University are responsible for leaving University of Richmond student records with the appropriate department/program/school chair or dean. 

University of Richmond policy (as published in the University’s academic catalogs) specifies that: “Grades are deemed correct unless notification to the contrary is received by the University Registrar within three (3) months after the close of the term specified.”   

Any document containing personally identifiable information must be disposed of properly through some means of confidential disposal.  For information on confidential disposal, please contact the Registrar’s Office.

The University’s complete Record Retention Policy is available at: http://registrar.richmond.edu/services/policies/recordretention.html

*AACRAO’s Retention of Records: Guide for Retention and Disposal of Student Records.
Washington D.C.: American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, 2010.