California recently signed into law AB-1313 Higher Education: Prohibited debt collection practices.
This law finally deals with the issue of schools withholding transcripts that would allow a student with debt to continue their education.
In most states, it is an accepted practice for colleges and universities to not release the official college transcript until all debts owed to the school are satisfied. The transcript is held as collateral.
Time and time again consumers have had to transfer or have completed their studies but have been unable to get the transcript to continue their education at a new school.
The State of California has done something about this issue with the passage of AB-1313.
As the new law says, “Schools and colleges have threatened to withhold transcripts from students as a debt collection tactic. The practice can cause severe hardship by preventing students from pursuing educational and career opportunities, and it is therefore unfair and contrary to public policy. Moreover, the practice is counterproductive as it may further delay the payment of the debt by creating obstacles to student employment.”
Under that new law, “Whenever a student transfers from one community college or public or private institution of postsecondary education to another within the state, appropriate records or a copy thereof shall be transferred by the former community college, or college or university upon a request from the student.”
That new right might now sound like much to some but it is a huge step in not leaving students in limbo with years of studies not being able to be transferred.