ST20 – Student Records [DRAFT]

Records of students’ admission to the University, academic performance and achievements, and academic support received in undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

This records class is a Personal Information Bank.

Related Records | Responsible Unit | Information Steward | Information Confidentiality Classification | Retention | Disposition | Authority | Retention Rationale | Personal Information BanksVersion Information

Content & Scope

Student records include: applications for admission and supporting documentation; academic department/school admissions recommendations and supporting records; records of students’ academic performance, fulfilment of academic program requirements, and program completion; and, records of academic support services to students, such as academic and co-op advising.

This class excludes: records of non-academic services to students provided by academic support units; records of student discipline, grievances, and appeals; employment records of graduate and undergraduate students as University employees; and, students’ personal health information.

The core academic record is maintained in the enterprise student information system (currently, Quest). This record includes information on a student’s identity, the basis for their admission to the university, years of study, grades, academic milestones, student discipline information to be included in the transcript, and, degrees and certificates earned. The core academic record is used to produce diplomas and transcripts, and to confirm an individual’s enrolment at the University.

This class also includes records of: participation in co-op programs and practical experience opportunities; course-work at other universities and participation in exchange programs; changes to personal information, academic program, enrolment, and (for graduate students) supervision; summary reports of petition decisions; and, related correspondence. Graduate student records include records of comprehensive and thesis examinations, such as formation of examining committees, examination answer papers, non-disclosure agreements, external examiners' reports, and notices of defence.

Related Records

  • For records of non-academic support services for students, see ST80 – Student Services or more specific records classes in the Campus Services (CS) function.
  • For student financial services records, see FN25 – Student Accounts.
  • For records of students as University employees, including co-op or work-study positions, see the appropriate records class in the Human Resources (HR) function.
  • For records related to student discipline, grievance, appeal, and petition cases, see: ST90 – Student Discipline, Grievances, Appeals & Petitions.

Responsible Unit

  • Registrar’s Office.
  • Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.
  • Co-operative and Experiential Education.
  • Faculties, academic departments and schools.
  • Other units providing academic support services to students.

Information Steward

  • Registrar: undergraduate applications for admission and supporting documentation; undergraduate student records in the enterprise student information system and supporting documentation.
  • Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Affairs: graduate applications for admission and supporting documentation; graduate student records in the enterprise student information system and supporting documentation.
  • Associate Provost, Co-operative & Experiential Education: records of students’ participation in co-operative and experiential education programs.
  • Dean of the relevant faculty: all other records.

Information Confidentiality Classification

  • Highly Restricted: copies of citizenship and visa documents, supporting documents for change of name forms.
  • Restricted: all other records.


  • Core academic record: Permanent.
  • Incomplete applications, unsuccessful applications, and applications of individuals who do not matriculate: 1 year after the end of the admit term.
  • Applications subject to administrative withdrawal: 20 years.
  • All other records: minimum of 1 year after last administrative use (for records of only short-term usefulness), and no more than 7 years after the student’s graduation or last registration (suitable for records which might inform readmission decisions). Units must document the specific retention period within this range that they are using for specific types of records.


  • Anonymized data derived from these records may be retained by the University until superseded or obsolete.
  • Records which are used only to update student records in the enterprise student information system are transitory records and should be securely destroyed upon completion of quality control processes for the system updates.
  • Paper source documents for imaged records managed in an enterprise information system are retained until quality assurance processes are complete and are then securely destroyed.


Secure Destruction.


Responsible Units should document the disposal/destruction of official records using the University records destruction form or equivalent documentation, to verify that we are following our records retention rules.


  • University of Waterloo Act, 1972.
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 460, s. 5 (1).

Retention Rationale

Retention is based on operational use and regulations to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requiring that personal information be retained for a minimum of one year after its use, unless the individual to whom the information relates consents to its earlier disposal (RRO 1990 Reg 460, s 5(1)).

Personal Information Banks

Information in student records includes: the student’s name, student number, date of birth, gender, marital status, preferred language, address, telephone number, e-mail address, emergency contact information, social insurance number, citizenship information, admission information, historical and current education information, employment history, and financial information. See Content & Scope section for additional details.

Under Review Date

25 January 2021

Previous Version

26 July 2010

(This records retention schedule replaces: ST10 – Applications for Admission, ST60 – Grade/Course Credit Submission, ST62 – Grade Revisions, ST65 – Student Files, Graduate, ST68 – Student Files, Undergraduate, ST70 – Student Information System (Quest))