Several years ago I applied to a bunch of universities, many of which rejected or waitlisted me. Since then, there has been a lot of discussion about transparency in the college admissions process, including this lawsuit against Harvard and this video about Yale. In the latter case, the student also later wrote an article asserting that people can look at old application materials under FERPA - though typically only for schools they attended. (*I am not attesting to the quality of or agreement with the resources; I'm merely citing their existence.)
I recently remembered this and wanted to see if I could do the same out of curiosity. However, I have two questions regarding this.
Can people do this for schools to which they were not accepted? I read that they might only honor your request if you were admitted. (If this is the case, then is this stipulated in FERPA? And how can they “choose” not to honor the law unless this is the case?)
What is the retention period? I would think that if I applied over four years ago, they might not have my record on file...?
Edit: For clarity, I DO have closure and am extremely content with the outcome. I cleaned up the original question and corrected my wording to provide more context. Thank you to everyone who answered.