How Long Can the School Hold My Transcript Hostage? – Jon

“Dear Steve,

I earned 60 credits at a junior college and received an AA degree(’98). Then I went on to a university on full scholarship to finish my education. I did not graduate but I did earn about 30 more credits that my scholarship paid for. My last year on scholarship there was (’01). A couple years later (’04) I returned to the same university and enrolled in classes for the semester. No scholarship this time. I eventually end up shirking school, didn’t drop my classes and moved home. They claim that I owe them around $3,500.00 to date because of past due balances (originally about $1,500). I need those credits (that i earned while on scholarship) to get a job that requires me to have only a more credits. Its killing me. I have no money, but I feel I deserve to have those credits reflect on my transcripts for jobs or future education.

Am I entitled to the credits that I earned while under scholarship? Can they hold my transcripts ransom for payment of alleged bill after so many years.


Dear Jon,

The short answer is that they can hold your transcript hostage until your account is satisfied. You could always negotiate with them to settle the outstanding debt for less than you owe but if you do be sure to get the deal in writing.

Basically the transcript or degree is the collateral the school has to require you to pay.

If you feel it is not fair or you want to check to see what additional remedies, if any, you may have then contact the state regulator in the state you live in.

You will have to click on the chart below to enlarge it to see the details.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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