My College Records have been expunged.

I attended Marymount Manhattan College 38 years ago. I attended for four (4) years, and in my last year, last semester, I had to leave due to personal family difficulties. I was a Deans List Student and in the Honor Club. Life went on and I am now ready to retire. I decided I wanted to return to the school and finish my degree. Upon contacting them I was told that my record was kept as a paper file and is no longer available. Hence they have no record of me ever attending the college. That is 4 years of my life down the drain. I had no idea that college records could be expunged after a certain length of time. I am very upset because I was looking forward to completing my degree and going on to Med School. What recourse do I have for resolving this issue. I have contacted the Dean of the College to set up an appointment to speak with him about resolving this. Is there anything else I can do?

Do you have any paperwork yourself? I have copies of my undergrad transcripts, for example, even though they are not official. Or did you save any report cards (colleges used to send them out back them!). I’d assume any cancelled checks to pay tuition are long gone… Do you have any friends who went on to graduate that year from your major who could vouch for you? Are there any photos of you in old yearbooks in the school library? Do they still have listings somewhere of Dean’s List students? Are there any profs there that still remember you? They’d be in their late 60s now if they were new profs then.

None of that (except maybe the transcripts or report cards) are likely to get you some kind of transcript credit, which you’d probably need for a grad school or med school admission, though.

You are interested in starting med school as a student in your late fifties? I can absolutely see why these records might be expunged after a certain number of years (decades?!) And what med school would admit a student based on coursework they completed a lifetime ago, anyway? I’m sorry for your frustration, and wish you much luck in continuing your education, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect that a school would preserve a paper record to document the work of a student who didn’t complete their degree all those many years ago.

FYI, about 10 years ago when I was becoming a substitute teacher, I had to provide transcripts from both my high school and college. I graduated HS in 89 and college in 94, so possibly pre-computer records for college (while in college, we had the advent of student electronic messaging and a few students had computers). We seem to be around the same age so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect your schools to still have your info, whether you graduated or not. I would be upset, too. I hope that the person who told you that was wrong and just didn’t feel like digging! Good luck.

Some schools will give you credit for old classes or life experience, but not all would accept the credits anyway. I know Regis University in Denver used to give some credits, but you still had to take a certain number of credits from Regis to graduate.

Were you planning to return to Marymount for your degree? If they won’t accept the paper record, I’m not sure anyone else would. I think you need to make an appointment with a counselor and find out what you can do.