professor_Tihanyi_with_a_studentThe Advisors’ Records Retention Schedule is a customized list of the different file types associated with advisors and other student services professionals. It includes a description of file types and requirements for when they should be deleted/shredded. This curated schedule was designed to support Advisors in their efforts to manage the landslide of emails, texts, documentation, and forms sent and received with and on behalf of students.

This customized collection of record series is not intended to entirely take the place of the UW General Record Retention Schedule or your departmental retention schedule. Instead, this page highlights parts of those resources which we feel are most crucial to your role at the university. If you can't find the answer you're looking for here, be sure to check the general schedule as well, or contact us directly at recmgt@uw.edu.

You may also be interested in our on-demand training on managing student records available via Canvas.


Search in the Advisors-specific series:

Records used to monitor student academic progress. May include transcripts from transfer institutions, learning contracts for independent study, research or internship credits, grade reports, Advisor's Worksheets, study abroad files, etc.  Advisors files may include substantive material received through email, or created or maintained as a Digital File. Note: Paper records which are printouts or duplicates of a digital file may be shredded at any time.

Official Copy: Any Advisory Office
Retention: 1 year after student inactive or graduated
Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

Emails that inform decision-making for enrolled/post baccalaureate/non-matriculated students or could potentially be relied upon to support the legal or financial position of the University are substantive and are considered part of the Advisor File.  Examples of substantive emails include:

  • Access questions
  • Acquisition of resources
  • Add codes
  • Advising recommendations
  • A-Level Exam Results
  • AP/IB tests/A-Level Exam Results
  • Auditing
  • Classes to take for graduation
  • Complaints
  • Conflict student/advisor/instructor
  • Course planning
  • CPT/OPT Forms from International Student Services
  • Declaration of Intended Degree Form
  • DELE test (Spanish only)
  • Disciplinary conduct issues
  • Evaluation of outside programs
  • Faculty reporting concerns about students
  • Forms filled out for Financial Aid (Satisfactory Progress Appeals)
  • Forms filled out for Veteran’s Benefits or other military related forms or course plans
  • Grade appeals or grievances
  • Graduate school and career
  • Holds and the various reasons for them (financial, failure to declare a major, etc.)
  • How many credits will I get
  • Internal Investigations
  • Mental health or other holistic interventions
  • Placement Tests
  • Pre-admission
  • Program Extension Requests
  • Program Extension Requests
  • Re-enrollment
  • Repeating classes
  • Requests for a waiver or appeal
  • Satisfactory progress evaluations
  • Student personal issues, life events, etc
  • Study Abroad
  • Transfer credits
  • Official Copy: Any Advisory Office
    Retention: 1 year after student inactive or graduated
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    The retention for email is based on the content of each individual email.

    Emails that simply request or provide information are transitory and can be deleted as soon as a reply is given or received. Examples of transitory emails include emails that:

    • Answer directional questions such as:
      • "How do I apply for this program?"
      • "What are your office hours?"
      • "When is the test?"                                                        
    • Or provide generic information:
      • Explaining/clarifying a variety of general university policies (ex. S/NS vs. annual drop, low scholarship and satisfactory progress)
      • Events (on-campus, off-campus)
      • Grading policy
      • Major/minor—/eligibility/number of credits necessary
      • Opportunities (ex. jobs, internships, scholarships)
      • Parents/FERPA
      • Redirection to another office (the cc question)
      • Registration when/how/where/eligibility/reminders
      • Transfer students
    • Or contain information or links from a source such as a website, database, or content management system.

    Official Copy: Any Advisory Office
    Retention: End of academic year
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Documents or files with information about individual students or aggregate information identifying individual students including but not limited to student learning plans, master student sheets, applicant sheets, prospective student sheets, poll results, copies of appeals/petitions/decision letters, scans of signed documents sent to the Registrar's Office, GARS, OSFA, Veteran's Office, etc (copies of scans that have been sent to internal UW offices do not have to be maintained by the department), scholarship status, major admissions data, copies of admissions materials like personal statements, service-learning permission forms and site placements.

    Official Copy: Any Advisory Office
    Retention:  1 year after student/cohort inactive or graduated
    Disposition Method:  Delete

    The following electronic records do not have to be saved or printed because they are extracted from a master file or database. Reports printed from a database are considered duplicates and can be destroyed as soon as they have served their reference purpose. They will be visible and accessible for their full retention period in the system of record and can be reprinted as needed. Includes aggregate reports which include identifying information about individual student. For example, a program director asks for a report about all student performance or progress in either a course or course series in the program. 

    Includes:

    • Alumni Info
    • BI-Portal Reports
    • Copies of admissions materials
    • Curriculum Database Printouts
    • DARS report (Degree Audit)
    • EDW Reports
    • Printouts from EARS, MyPlan, or MyGrad
    • Qualtrics and Catalyst surveys and results
    • Registrar on-demand reports
    • UW Time Schedule

    Official Copy: Any Advisory Office
    Retention: Reference purpose served / End of academic year
    Disposition Method: Delete

    A comprehensive record of a student's appeal of a grade, or other student grievance mediated within the department, school or college.

    Official Copy: College/School or Department
    Retention: 5 years after end of quarter in which issue is resolved
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Documents interactions with or information/notes about individual students.  May contain aggregate information identifying individual students.

    Official Copy: Any Advisory Office
    Retention:  1 year after student/cohort inactive or graduated
    Disposition Method:  Delete

    Provides a record of a petitions and waivers for a change to the status of a student, or for exemption from a fee, fine, or requirement.  Also includes release from liability.

    Official Copy: College/School or Department
    Retention: 6 years after graduation or last contact with student
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Advisor recommendations for scholarships, fellowships, awards, and other forms of student recognition or achievement.

    Official Copy: Any Advisory Office
    Retention: 1 year after student inactive or graduated
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    An agreement between a student and the UW granting the UW rights to photographs, video, or use student product or quotes for promotional material.

    Official Copy: Any Advisory Office
    Retention: 6 years after publication or video no longer in use
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    A record of the UW academic history of a student in terms of the courses taken, grades and degrees received. May also be used as Advisor's Worksheets.

    Official Copy: Registrar's Office -- Administration
    Retention: Permanent

    Other Copy: College/School or Department
    Retention: While enrolled or until superseded
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    A record of authorization from the appropriate Dean(s) for a student to change to a different college/school and/or major.

    Official Copy: Registrar's Office
    Retention: 2 years after end of quarter
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Other Copy: Any Advisory Office/Dean's Office
    Retention: 1 year after student inactive or graduated
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    A record of a student's eligibility to take an examination in order to obtain credit for a class without enrolling in it.

    Official Copy: Registrar's Office -- Graduation and Academic Records
    Retention: 1 year after end of quarter
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Other Copy: College/School or Department
    Retention: Until end of quarter in which exam is given
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Provides a record of student academic progress. Includes a list of courses taken and number of credits still necessary to complete general requirements for graduation and for completion of major/program. Reports may be printed by department or received as batch copy from Registrar's Office.

    Official Copy: Registrar's Office -- Degree Audit Reporting System
    Retention: 1 month after audit of system, or report ordered
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Other Copy: College/School or Department
    Retention: Until superseded
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    A record of investigations and disciplinary actions taken pursuant to the Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-120). 

    Official Copy: Office of the Vice Provost for Student Life - academic and non-academic cases
    Retention: 6 years after disciplinary action has been taken and/or after the administrative purpose has been served
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Official Copy: Dean -- for academic disciplinary actions & non-disciplinary actions
    Retention: 6 years after disciplinary action has been taken and/or after the administrative purpose has been served
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Official Copy: Housing and Food Services: Residential Life - residence hall cases
    Retention: 6 years after disciplinary action has been taken and/or after the administrative purpose has been served
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Other Copy: Department
    Retention: 6 years after disciplinary action has been taken and/or after the administrative purpose has been served
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Letters of reference prepared by UW faculty and staff regarding UW students or former UW students with whom they are acquainted. 

    Official Copy: Any Office
    Retention: 1 year after end of calendar year
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Listing of courses for which a student is registered during a particular quarter. Previously in card form, now online.

    Official Copy: Any Advisory Office
    Retention: Until superseded by quarterly grade report
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Compilations of data obtained by the Registrar's Office regarding student enrollment, courses, grade distribution, scholarship, ethnicity of students, etc. May include Class Enrollment Count, Class Size Monitoring Report, Class Standing by College, Course Content Report, Cumulative Registration Enrollment Report, Ethnic Enrollment Survey, Grade Distribution Report, Graduate Students List, Registered List, Scholarship Reports, Variable Credit Class Census, Withdrawn Students List, etc.

    Official Copy: Enrollment Information Services
    Retention: Variable depending on report, refer to departmental records retention schedule; transfer to University Archives for review
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Official Copy: UW Bothell: Student Affairs: Registrar
    Retention: Variable depending on report, refer to departmental records retention schedule; transfer to University Archives for review
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Other Copy: College/School or Department
    Retention: 1 year after end of quarter
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Provides a record of an incident(s) or information that has been reported to this office involving one or more students, and which may or may not have concluded with a formal investigation.

    Official Copy: Any Advisory Office
    Retention: 6 years after incident resolved
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Notes and lists used as a memory tickler to help faculty and staff identify former students for the purpose of writing letters of reference for them. Lists may include: names of students, dates degrees awarded, titles of final projects, final grades, grade point averages, etc.

    Official Copy: College/School or Department
    Retention: Until administrative purpose is served
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    Provides a record of students who have not violated policy but have behavioral issues of concern.  Records are entered into Advocate Care Module which also calls data on an as needed basis from the Enterprise Data Warehouse.  Office consultation and asssessment team shares custodianship for Advocate with other offices at UW.

    Official Copy: Any Advisory Office
    Retention: 6 years after case closed
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete

    A summary record of the compiled responses to surveys or questionnaires. Includes blank sample survey form and report of results. 

    Official Copy: Any Office
    Retention: 3 years after end of fiscal year
    Disposition Method: Transfer to University Archives for review

    Individual responses to surveys or questionnaires. 

    Official Copy: Any Office
    Retention: 2 years after end of fiscal year
    Disposition Method: Shred or Delete