Front Entrance of UofSC Aiken

AENR 110

Policies and Procedures


AENR 110


Enrollment Services


Deceased Students


April 22, 2010

Reviewed on:

August 1, 2013

Issued by:

Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services

Authorized by:

Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Services



I. Policy                 

In the event a University student dies while enrolled, the Office of the Registrar will submit to the Registrar's Office at USC Columbia a request to have the "deceased indicator" placed on the student's records. An obituary will suffice as proof of death. The Registrar's Office in Columbia will then withdraw the student from current classes and take other precautions to prevent his/her name appearing on any data regarding current students. All of the student's professors are notified that the student's name will disappear from the class rolls for that semester. No grades will be recorded. 
   A student's rights under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 expire at the time of the student's death. The University may release directory information on the student. The student's academic records, however, are still sealed for a period of 25 years as protection from the media and other entities. The University may release, upon request, other student records information to the individual listed as the deceased student's next of kin. The next of kin would need to provide identifying information such as birth and death certificate of the deceased.

    If the student's death is under investigation by law enforcement agencies, the University can release directory information. If other students who knew or have been in contact with the deceased are thought to be in danger, directory information on those individuals can also be released to law enforcement. Photos from the student ID card data base are considered as directory information and as such can be used for identifying purposes; however, they will not be released to the media.

    Other student records information, such as grades, GPA, etc., can only be released to law enforcement agencies with a subpoena issued by a judge. Such requests are forwarded to the Registrar's Office at USC Columbia, since USC Aiken does not have the official transcripts.

     The Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance will process a 100% refund for the student for the semester in which the death occurs so that funding can be directed back to financial aid sources as necessary or to the next-of-kin of the deceased student, whichever is applicable. The Office of Financial Aid will also require an obituary as proof of death so that federal aid providers and lending agencies can also be notified of the student's death.

     The University of South Carolina Aiken may deem it appropriate to award a degree to a deceased student on who said degree was not officially conferred.

     A degree may be awarded posthumously when death occurs during the term of enrollment in which the student would, based on normal expectations, have completed degree requirements. Such action must be requested and endorsed in writing by the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs should affect completion of a degree application on behalf of the student and submit it to the Registrar, accompanied by the letter of request.

     A posthumous degree may be awarded to a graduate student who was not currently enrolled, but whose active degree pursuits can be documented by the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the program chairperson.

II. Procedure

     The Office of the Registrar will take appropriate actions to ensure that the awarding of the degree appears in the appropriate commencement program and on the student's official record.

III.  Related Policies

IV.  Reason for Revision

          Annual Review