Guidelines on Access to Student Records and Protection of Privacy

Access to student records and information is governed by York University's Policy on Access to Information and Protection of Privacy and complies with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The University shall collect, use and disclose personal information related to its students in accordance with the following guidelines.

Collection and Use of Personal Information

Personal information is collected under the authority of The York University Act, 1965 and will be used for educational, administrative and statistical purposes.

By applying for admission to York University and by enrolling in a program at the University, students consent to the collection of their personal information by York University for educational, administrative and statistical purposes. The information is needed to process their admission application and their enrolment and registration in academic programs; to record and track their academic progress; to provide the basis for awards and governmental funding and for related recordkeeping purposes. Students agree that all information and documentation submitted to the University in support of an application for admission, counselling and disability services, residence accommodation or financial award, or any petition or appeal, becomes the property of the University.

An electronic record of students' achievements at the University is preserved permanently, but all other documentation contained in students' files may be destroyed in accordance with the University’s records retention policies.

Change of Name

Each student is required to provide, either on application for admission or in personal data required for registration, his/her full legal name. Any requests to change a name, by means of alteration or deletion, substitution or addition, must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. Upon making application for graduation a student may be asked to provide proof of their name. Students may verify their official name on record online through My Online Services.

Maintaining Contact Information

A student must maintain current and up-to-date permanent and mailing address information on the records of the University in order to receive pertinent mailings. The University also routinely uses e-mail to communicate with students. Students are responsible for maintaining up-to-date e-mail addresses on the records of the University and for ensuring that there are no problems with their external e-mail provider or individual account that would prevent York University from delivering an e-mail to that address.

Changes to contact information are done online through My Online Services.

Access to Confidential Student Records and Disclosure of Personal Information

Questions regarding your own student record should be directed to Registrarial Services.

For questions about the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by York University, please refer to the Information and Privacy Office.

Public Disclosure
It is the University’s policy to make the following information routinely available:
  • whether or not a student has received a particular academic award, honour or distinction whether from York or an external third party; and,
  • degree(s) or credential(s) that have been conferred by the University and the date(s) of conferral.

Except as specified above, other information contained in the record will be disclosed with the student's written consent. This restriction applies to requests from all third party inquirers including parents, spouses and credit bureaus.

Students who are currently registered in a program/course at the University are entitled to submit a written request to the Registrar’s Office if they do not wish to allow release of their active registration status, their current field of study, information about any academic awards, honours or distinctions and if they have not successfully graduated.

Student Access

Students have the right to inspect their own official record, with the exception of evaluations and letters of reference supplied to the University with the understanding that they be kept confidential.

Students have the right to request that erroneous information contained in their records be corrected and that recipients of any information found to be in error be advised of the correction.

Students wishing to inspect their record must make an appointment with the Associate Registrar, Student Services.

Upon written request to the Registrar's Office, students whose fee account shows no outstanding balance may request to have an official transcript of their record of studies at the University sent to a third party.

Documents pertaining to a student's achievement at another institution, which may have been received by the University, will not be released or redirected.

Transcripts of Academic Record

A student's signature, or Passport York login is required for the release of their own records. Transcripts issued directly to the student are stamped "Issued to Student". York University is not responsible for transcripts lost or delayed in the mail.

In accordance with University policy, transcripts and diplomas will not be released to students who have an outstanding account with the University.

Employee Access

Employees of the University are permitted access to information contained in student records, if they need to know the information in order to perform their official duties. As a general rule, employees involved in some aspect of academic administration or student affairs are given access to a student’s record. The level and nature of access should be related to their particular administrative duties. Other employees may use student personal information for a variety of other fundamental activities related to being a member of the York University community, such as advancement.

Supervising managers and/or the University Registrar have the authority to withdraw access to student records from any employee.

Disclosure to Student Organizations

All third party organizations and student organizations are required to sign FIPPA-compliant confidentiality agreements with an authorized officer of the University before obtaining access to student personal information. Student information may only be used or disclosed in accordance with the provisions of the confidentiality agreements.

All requests from student organizations must be approved by the Centre for Student Community and Leadership Development within the Division of Students. Listings of members will be made available upon written request to the Centre for Student Community and Leadership Development and must be accompanied by a signature of the authorized officer of that organization.

Disclosure to Third Parties
Information may be shared with the following parties to facilitate fundamental activities:
  • Other universities and colleges to verify any information provided as part of an application for admission;
  • Other universities and colleges to share incidences of falsified documents or credentials, or share information regarding fraudulent applications for admission;
  • Government offices to verify information regarding an application for admission and to support processes for government financial aid;
  • Other universities and colleges with which York University maintains a collaborative program partnership;
  • Service providers contracted by York University to support business processes.

All requests from other third party organizations must by be approved by the Registrar's Office.

If someone other than the student wishes to pick up a document on behalf of a student (e.g. transcript, diploma, etc.), the student must provide that person with a signed authorization. The third party must provide the signed authorization as well as photo identification.

Legally Mandated Disclosures

Specified records or portions thereof may be provided to persons or agencies pursuant to a court order in situations where the University is required to comply with the law, and as part of law enforcement investigations or proceedings.

Disclosure in Emergency or Compassionate Situations

On occasion, a personal emergency may require students to be contacted quickly. In emergency situations involving the health and safety of an individual, or in compassionate situations, the University Registrar or designate may, if considered to be in the best interest of the student, authorize the release of personal information about the student. The University will then inform the student of the disclosure.

Students are urged to provide those who may need to be reached in an emergency with an up-to-date copy of their class timetable, specifying days, times and locations. In addition, students are required to routinely update their next of kin and emergency contact information through My Online Services.

Notification of Disclosure of Personal Information to Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada is the national statistical agency. As such, Statistics Canada carries out hundreds of surveys each year on a wide range of matters, including education.

It is essential to be able to follow students across time and institutions to understand, for example, the factors affecting enrolment demand at postsecondary institutions. The increased emphasis on accountability for public investment means that it is also important to understand “outcomes”. In order to carry out such studies, Statistics Canada asks all colleges and universities to provide data on students and graduates. Institutions collect and provide to Statistics Canada student identification information (student's name, student ID number, Social Insurance Number), student contact information (address and telephone number), student demographic characteristics, enrolment information, previous education and labour force activity.

The Federal Statistics Act provides the legal authority for Statistics Canada to obtain access to personal information held by educational institutions. The information may be used for statistical purposes only and the confidentiality provisions of the Statistics Act prevent the information from being released in any way that would identify a student.

Students who do not wish to have their information used can ask Statistics Canada to remove their identifying information from the national database. On request by a student, Statistics Canada will delete an individual's contact information (name, address, or other personal identifiers) from the PSIS database. To make such a request, please contact us:

By telephone: Monday to Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm EST/EDST
1-800-307-3382; or
By mail: Institutional Surveys Section
Centre for Education Statistics
Statistics Canada Main Building, SC 2100-K
Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0T6
By e-mail:
Further details on the use of this information can be obtained from the Statistics Canada website.
Notification of Disclosure of Personal Information to the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

The University is required to disclose personal information such as Ontario Education Numbers, student characteristics and educational outcomes to the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development under s. 15 of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter M.19, as amended. The ministry collects this data for purposes such as planning, allocating and administering public funding to colleges, universities and other post-secondary educational and training institutions and to conduct research and analysis, including longitudinal studies, and statistical activities conducted by or on behalf of the ministry for purposes that relate to post-secondary education and training.

Further information on how the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities uses this personal information is available on the Ministry's website or by writing to the:
Director, Postsecondary Finance and Information Management Branch
Postsecondary Education Division
7th Floor, Mowat Block
900 Bay Street
Toronto, ON
M7A 1L2