Return of Tests and Essays

In order to preserve students’ federally protected rights to privacy and to prevent papers from being stolen for use in other courses by students who did not write them, all graded essays, examinations, and other class assignments should be returned directly to the students who completed them, not placed outside an instructor’s office or in any open place to be picked up. Similarly, because the report of a grade is confidential information, instructors should not post grades outside their offices. Even a list with Social Security numbers and grades should not be posted, since the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, otherwise known as the Buckley Amendment, prohibits the posting of grades using any personally identifiable information, including Social Security numbers.

The Yale College Dean’s Office recommends that instructors retain any graded work which is not returned to students for one year following the end of a course.