Can your college withhold copies of your transcript due to unpaid bills?

| Apr 10, 2021 | Education Law |

College is an investment of at least tens of thousands of dollars, all with the goal of securing a better career or higher income later in life. Students have to pay for tuition, books and often for additional costs assessed by their college or university to secure their degree.

Actively enrolled students are more likely than graduates to quickly resolve unpaid costs, as bills from the school could stop someone from enrolling the next semester. Once you graduate, it can be hard for the school to collect unpaid fees, since they can’t stop you from attending class like they can during active enrollment.

You may have ignored some unpaid school bills until you applied for a new job. Then you find out you cannot get an official copy of your transcripts. Can the school that you attended refuse to give you a transcript due to unpaid bills?

A school typically can refuse to give an official transcript

A formal or official transcript usually comes on nice paper and includes a seal to mark its authenticity. Certain employers considering people for positions may require a transcript. Unfortunately, short of paying what you owe the school, there is no way for you to compel the release of your official transcript.

However, you can get copies of some of your paperwork, including records of your classes and your grades. College students and graduates have the right to obtain unofficial copies of courses and grades even if they do not currently qualify for an official transcript. In some cases, a potential employer will accept those documents. Other times, you may need to correct the issue with the school so that you can receive an official transcript.

Students and graduates dealing with record issues or other problems with their alma mater may need to seek legal advice if they can’t quickly resolve the matter on their own.  An experienced attorney can help you.

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