New rules mean indebted students can receive transcripts

Over six million former college students in the United States cannot access their college transcripts because their former school is holding the transcript for ransom as a debt collection tactic. Many of them will get a substantial reprieve next year thanks to regulations recently released by the Department of Education, which will ban colleges and universities from withholding students’ transcripts under most circumstances, writes Edward Conroy for Forbes.

College transcripts are vital documents for students, employers and colleges. Students need transcripts to show what they have studied and how well they performed. Employers want transcripts to confirm that potential employees have the skills and qualifications they list on their résumé. Colleges need them to determine whether a new student should get transfer credit and if they are eligible for certain types of financial aid.

Many colleges and universities block students’ access to their academic transcript if they owe a debt to the school. These debts can be the result of something as insignificant as a library fine or as large as an unpaid tuition bill. The new regulations require colleges to release transcripts for semesters the student received federal grants, loans or work-study funds and paid off everything they owed to their school. The only credits a college or university will be allowed to withhold from the transcript are those from a semester for which the student still owes money.
Full report on the Forbes site