CHAPTER 200 Academic Affairs


231 Office of Academic Records

The Office of Academic Records is the official University archivist of student academic history with the Registrar and Director of Academic Records being responsible for the custodianship of student records. The Department is committed to providing direct support services to students, alumni, the campus community and the public, and to maintaining a superior standard of fairness, efficiency and accuracy in interpreting, communicating and applying policy, evaluating requests, processing transactions, and documenting information pertaining to academic records.

231.1 Introduction

As the University's official academic history archivist, the Office of Academic Records (OAR) is solely responsible for production of official academic transcripts and diplomas, compliance with subpoenas, verification of attendance and degrees, certification for the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and Veterans Administration (VA) requirements, posting of degrees, and all other student-specific transactions.

The OAR actively analyzes and interprets relevant Federal, State, and University policies in order to develop and revise the procedures and practices that guide their services. The Department strives to ensure that these procedures and practices accurately reflect the policy and allow fair and consistent treatment of all those who they affect.

Information regarding services provided by the OAR is disseminated through general publications including the quarterly class schedule, University Catalog, and the Department’s web site, issue-specific publications generated by the Department, and other means such as mail, posters, and announcements in campus media.

The University Catalog documents policies on most Academic Records topics, including: Registration, Grading, Academic Renewal, Leaves of Absence, Repeated Courses, Withdrawals, Academic Probation and Disqualification, Community Service Credit, Visitor's Program, Academic Transfer Credit, Credit-by-Examination, General Education and Breadth Requirements, Graduate Students, Graduation Evaluations, Major Changes, Petition for Curriculum Substitution, Graduation.

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References for CAP 231.1:

  1. Date approved by the President: May 5, 2004
  2. Responsible Department/Office: Office of Academic Records
  3. Related University Policies/Documents/Manuals/Handbooks: Academic Senate Resolutions, University Catalog.
  4. Any laws, regulations or codes of practice which should be referred to in conjunction with the policy: California Code of Regulations - Title 5, CSU Executive Orders

231.2 University Policy on the Use and Release of Student Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. This Federal law applies to all schools that receive funding under most programs administered by the Department of Education.

The University will not disclose information from a student's education record, except with the written consent of the student.

The University will release Directory Information*, when not protected by the student, and disclose other information from a student's education record only with consent, except: 1) to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory,academic, research, or support staff position; a person elected to the Board of Trustees; or a person employed by or under contract to the University to perform a special task, such as legal counsel or an auditor. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is performing a task that is specific in his or her job description or by a contract agreement; or performing a task related to a student's education; or performing a task related to the discipline of a student; or providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, or financial aid. 2) to a University auxiliary organization in good standing where services are provided on behalf of the University’s educational interests; to officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll; to certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and State and local educational authorities, in connection with certain State or Federally-supported education programs; in connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid; to organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the University; to accrediting organizations to carry out their functions; or to appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency. When appropriate, the University will ensure that FERPA and other applicable law requirements are included in any contracts between the University and outside entities, including University auxiliaries.

*Directory Information includes: name, local address, local telephone listing, email address, place of birth, major, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, photograph, weight and height of athletic team members, most recent previous educational institution attended, and participation in officially recognized activities and sports.

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References for CAP 231.2:

  1. Date approved by the President: May 5, 2004
  2. Responsible Department/Office: Office of Academic Records
  3. Related University Policies/Documents/Manuals/Handbooks:
    1. Policy Statement for Privacy Rights and Personal Information, June 21, 1979
  4. Any laws, regulations or codes of practice which should be referred to in conjunction with the policy: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 1974; USC sec. 1232g, Executive Order 382 - Privacy and Personal Information Management, Student Records Administration, April 14, 1977

231.3 Deceased Student Information Policy

Responses for requests for academic records pertaining to deceased students will be provided in accordance with this policy statement.

Upon receipt, such requests should be referred immediately to the Office of Academic Records; the Registrar will be responsible for advising the appropriate campus/department administrators on how to respond to such requests, in consultation with the Provost and the University Legal Counsel’s Office. The response to requests for records of a deceased student shall be guided by the following principles:

  1. There must be a confirmation of death (e.g. death certificate, court document);
  2. The request should be in writing with a statement of the requestor’s relationship to the deceased, and a description of what records are sought. If the request is within six (6) months of the student’s death, academic records will only be provided to an executor or immediate surviving relative of the deceased student. Beyond six (6) months, only Directory information will be released to persons other than an executor or immediate surviving relative of the deceased student. Non-directory information shall remain confidential, indefinitely;
  3. The Registrar or designee will review the records prior to release to ensure that University interests are protected, including intellectual property rights. In addition, privacy rights of living persons who may be mentioned in the records will be considered and protected, as appropriate (e.g. redaction of names and other identifiable information); and
  4. Individuals wishing access to information not released may file a California Public Records Act request.
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231.4 Enrollment Verifications

Students can request a verification to confirm enrollment history, current term enrollment, major, date of graduation, and GPA. All verifications require the student’s written permission, and are provided in the form of an official letter signed by the Registrar. Telephone verifications of enrollment and degree information are provided for students who have not protected their Directory Information.

To comply with Federal and State financial aid reporting requirements, quarterly extracts of student enrollment data are provided to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse.

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References for CAP 231.4:

  1. Date approved by the President: May 5, 2004
  2. Responsible Department/Office: Office of Academic Records
  3. Any laws, regulations or codes of practice which should be referred to in conjunction with the policy: School Participation Agreement for National Student Loan Clearinghouse, November 4, 1996.

231.5 Subpoenas

The Office of Academic Records is the University's sole source of student educational records materials to comply with subpoena requests. Academic Records handles all civil and criminal processes for information pertaining to student academic records. Out-of-state subpoenas should be reviewed by University Legal Counsel.

There are a wide variety of civil processes governing the release of records. This can include a variety of civil subpoena legal sources, interrogatories, motions to compel testimony, and other civil processes which must be reviewed by University Legal Counsel prior to release of information.

In civil cases, documents are released 15 days after receipt of a legally sufficient subpoena to allow the student, whose records are requested, time to seek legal resources if there is a desire to resist the civil subpoena process. Academic Records must attempt to notify the involved student of the subpoena’s existence.

In criminal cases, subpoenaed documents are released as soon as possible. Student notification is required unless the Court or other issuing agencies orders that Cal Poly not disclose to any person the existence or contents of the subpoena or any information furnished in response to the subpoena.

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References for CAP 231.5:

  1. Date approved by the President: May 5, 2004
  2. Responsible Department/Office: Office of Academic Records
  3. Any laws, regulations or codes of practice which should be referred to in conjunction with the policy: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 1974; California Code of Civil Procedure, 1985; California Government Code

231.6 Search Warrants

The Office of Academic Records is the University’s primary source of student educational records material to comply with search warrant requests. Academic Records handles local, State, and Federal search warrants. Requests come from such sources as local police agencies, the district attorney’s office, Customs, Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Secret Service.

Search warrants have the constitutional authority of a municipal, state, or Federal court as they are a legal instrument which is reviewed and authorized for service by a judge of the court. Documents can be demanded immediately, by the agency serving the search warrant, at the time of service.

After confirming the legitimacy of the search warrant, Academic Records provides photocopies of the documents specifically requested in the search warrant. If requests are made for documents not included in the search warrant, University Legal Counsel should be consulted. Academic Records must notify the student unless the search warrant clearly states we are prohibited from doing so.

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231.7 Official University Transcripts

Transcripts are the official record of a student’s academic history. Cal Poly transcripts for students who attended prior to 1987 are maintained on microfilm. Transcripts for current students, and those who have attended since 1987, are stored on a computer database.

Students may obtain a set of official University transcripts by submitting a signed written request, along with the appropriate fee payment, to the Office of Academic Records.

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References for CAP 231.7:

  1. Date approved by the President: May 5, 2004
  2. Responsible Department/Office: Office of Academic Records
  3. Any laws, regulations or codes of practice which should be referred to in conjunction with the policy: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 1974

231.8 Name and Student Identification

Currently enrolled students may submit requests for name and identification changes at any time during the quarter. Students must include legal documentation of the name or identification change.

The University uses a student’s Social Security number as his or her identification number; students who prefer not to use their Social Security number may request an assigned identification number.

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231.9 National Collegiate Athletic Association

A student’s eligibility to compete in intercollegiate athletics is regulated by National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules and current conference and University regulations. The Office of Academic Records provides quarterly certifications of eligibility.

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References for CAP 231.9:

  1. Date approved by the President: May 5, 2004
  2. Responsible Department/Office: Office of Academic Records
  3. Any laws, regulations or codes of practice which should be referred to in conjunction with the policy: NCAA Division Manual

231.10 Veterans Administration

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has recognized the University as an accredited institution, allowing eligible veterans and dependents of veterans to collect the Montgomery GI Bill—Active Duty Educational Assistance Program, while they are attending the University.

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers a wide range of benefits to veterans, service members, and their dependents. The Montgomery GI Bill is available to veterans discharged from Active Duty, veterans in the Reserves, and dependents of disabled or deceased veterans. All veterans are required to be enrolled and follow a course of study while collecting benefits.

The University’s Veterans’ Coordinator acts as the liaison between the veteran and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Quarterly certification to the Department of Veteran's Affairs by the Office of Academic Records is required.

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References for CAP 231.10:

  1. Date approved by the President: May 5, 2004
  2. Responsible Department/Office: Office of Academic Records
  3. Any laws, regulations or codes of practice which should be referred to in conjunction with the policy: Certification of Students under Veterans' Laws (AACRAO)

231.11 Collection of Student Grades

The collection of student grades is the responsibility of the Academic Records Office. Grade rosters of officially enrolled students are provided to faculty during the last week of classes, with an assigned deadline for submission of grades provided.

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231.12 Grade Changes

A grade may be changed for the purpose of correcting clerical or administrative error, or to correct an error in the calculation or recording of a grade. A change of grade shall not occur as a result of additional work performed or re-examination beyond the established course requirements.

Except for circumstances as provided in the Academic Senate Fairness Board’s Description and Procedures (, the assignment of final grades is the responsibility of faculty members. Under unusual or emergency circumstances requiring a change of grade in the absence of the faculty who assigned it, or if an instructor is on leave for one or more quarters or is no longer a member of the faculty, the department head/chair is responsible. The department head/chair may delegate authority for determining the grade, but the department head/chair’s signature is required for the grade change itself.

A grade change must be received by the OAR no later than one year following the completion of a course. (If the grade change is not received within one year, the student must retake the course to earn the new grade. Once a degree is awarded, any grade change must be made within 60 days.)

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References for CAP 231.12:

  1. Date approved by the President: May 5, 2004
  2. Responsible Department/Office: Office of Academic Records
  3. Related University Policies/Documents/Manuals/Handbooks:
    1. Academic Senate Resolution AS-382-92, Resolution on Change of Grade
  4. Any laws, regulations or codes of practice which should be referred to in conjunction with the policy: Executive Order 268, Grading Symbols, September 1, 1977; Executive Order 320, Assignment of Grades and Grade Appeals, January 18, 1980

232 Admissions and Recruitment Office

232.1 Mission Statement

The Admissions and Recruitment Office is committed to a campuswide, student-centered approach to recruitment and admission. The office supports this initiative in communicating with and assisting prospective students in making a smooth transition into the University. This student-centered approach to admissions and recruitment facilitates the initial bonding or union between prospective students and the campus community.

Embedded in the goals and responsibilities of the office are the utilization of the various technologies available to support the recruitment and application process that supports the entire campus’ participation in the recruitment, admission, and conversion effort.

The office is committed to the ongoing effort and advancement made toward the University’s goal to recruit, admit, and enroll a high quality, diverse new student population.

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232.2 Undergraduate Admission Policy

The Admissions policies of the University are based upon State of California and California State University regulations. The University Catalog documents these Admissions policies and should be referenced for complete and up-to-date information on these policies.

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References for CAP 232:

  1. Date approved by the President: May 5, 2004
  2. Responsible Department/Office: Admissions and Recruitment
  3. Related University Policies/Documents/Manuals/Handbooks: University Catalog
  4. Any laws, regulations or codes of practice which should be referred to in conjunction with the policy: California Code of Regulations, Title 5; CSU Executive Order 563; and the campus practices and procedures.

233 Student Financial Aid

Student Financial Aid is responsible for the administration and resource coordination of the University’s student financial aid programs. All scholarships, loans, grants, fellowships, assistantships, student stipends, work-study, and similar student award programs shall be coordinated through Student Financial Aid.

The mission of Student Financial Aid is to ensure access to educational opportunities for all students who demonstrate the desire and ability to benefit from such, through the delivery of financial assistance and support services. Student Financial Aid shall ensure compliance with federal, state, and institutional statutory and/or regulatory requirements associated with the delivery of student financial assistance funds.

233.1 Campus Coordination of Student Aid and Resources

The director of Student Financial Aid coordinates student resources for the campus regarding mandated requirements of the student financial assistance provisions. All Title IV programs, and other federal and non-federal programs, must be monitored with all available information on student resources to preclude awarding funds over need as established according to the Federal Methodology Need Analysis.

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233.2 Nondiscrimination in the Administration of Federal, State, Institutional, and Private Aid Resources

Student Financial Aid shall provide equal educational opportunities to all students without regard to protected classes as defined in U.S. anti-discrimination law. Within the policy, and under federal and state law, the office will not accept, nor will it participate in the administration of any student scholarship, grant, loan, work, internship, or fellowship program which would provide preferential treatment toward any individual or group on the basis of their protected class.

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233.3 Determination of Standardized Cost of Attendance

Standard cost of attendance budgets used in determining student eligibility for need-based financial aid programs are established annually by the director of Student Financial Aid. There are three standard budgets: on-campus, off-campus, and commuter. Components included in each of these budgets are fees, room, board, books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses.

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233.4 Methodology for Determination of Expected Family Contribution

The methodology used in determining expected family contribution to determine eligibility for need-based student aid programs is the U. S. Department of Education’s Federal Methodology for need determination. This national standardized formula is updated annually.

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233.5 Priority for Initial Awarding and Revision of Award Packages

A standard application called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for most financial aid programs. An institutional application for scholarship assistance consideration is also required. The priority filing period is January 1 through March 2 for the following academic year.

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233.6 Determination of Satisfactory Academic Progress and Aid Eligibility

Federal student aid regulations require institutions to establish and apply, to all federal aid recipients, specific standards for measuring their academic progress. The standard must contain a qualitative measure, a quantitative measure, and a maximum timeframe in which a degree must be completed. These are defined as: (1) the qualitative measure shall be a minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA); (2) the quantitative measure for undergraduates and post-baccalaureate students is the annual completion of a minimum of 75% of the units attempted during the previous academic year (summer, fall, winter, and spring); and (3) for graduate students, full-time status shall be defined as eight or more units, three-fourths time status as six to seven units, and half-time status as four to five units.

The maximum timeframe for financial aid consideration shall be defined as 150% of the normal number of terms required to complete an undergraduate or postbaccalaureate degree program. The academic progress review is completed annually at the end of the spring term for financial aid applicants. The review shall evaluate the student’s cumulative GPA, units attempted versus completed for the preceding year, and the number of cumulative terms the student has been enrolled (including terms at other institutions).

Student aid recipients failing to meet these standards may file an appeal for reconsideration.

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233.7 Return of Federal, State, Institutional, and Private Funds because of Student Withdrawal

Cal Poly must calculate the percentage of financial aid earned by a student prior to withdrawal from a term as part of the Standards of Participation in the Title IV, Higher Education Act programs. The student financial aid return of Title IV funds requirements apply to students who withdraw, drop out, take an unapproved leave of absence, fail to return from an approved leave of absence, are expelled, disenrolled, or otherwise fail to complete the period of enrollment for which they were funded and charged.

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233.8 Scholarships

Cal Poly scholarships are awarded to both new and continuing students based upon criteria which may include financial need, academic merit, talent, field of study, extra-curricular activities, and/or other donor established criteria.

Selections are made by the University Scholarship Committee, colleges, academic units within colleges, and some program units.

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233.8.1 Disposition of Undisbursed Earnings from Institutional Scholarship Funds

Cal Poly Foundation endowment interest income is distributed twice a year, once in September for scholarship disbursements, and once in March for spring award disbursements. Attrition and enrollment fluctuations result in balances. Interest on the unused balances is credited to the Cal Poly General Scholarship account. This policy facilitates the maintenance of scholarship accounts by allowing one interest entry rather than multiple entries of minor amounts.

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233.8.2 Distribution Rates and Investment Policy on Cal Poly Trust Funds

See Chapter Three, Fiscal Services Section 341.3 for the referenced policy.

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233.9 Minimum and Maximum Wage Rates

The minimum hourly wage rate for student employees shall be the published Federal minimum hourly rate, unless a higher rate is required by State law. The maximum hourly wage rate for student employees is established by the CSU Trustees.

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References for CAP 233:

  1. Date approved by the President: To be determined
  2. Effective Date: To be determined
  3. Responsible Department/Office: Student Financial Aid
  4. Revision History: May 5, 2004, June 10, 2005
  5. Related University Policies, Procedures, Manuals and/or Documents:
    1. CAP Chapter Three, Fiscal Services Section 341.3
    2. CSU Salary Schedule for Student Assistants,
  6. Laws, Regulations and/or Codes of practice referred to herein or related to this policy:
    1. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 31
    2. Article 1 of the California Constitution
    3. Higher Education Act of 1965 as Amended