I am writing this because I am needing help in an issue that has been a problem for awhile with a college I attended between the years of 1998-2003. I graduated Wayland Baptist University in 2003 and I received my diploma from them and walked the stage. I have a Bachelors of Science in Interdisplinary Studies with a specialization in Early Childhood.
Ok let me now begin with my story in Spring of 2002 I attended all my classes and in March I withdrew due to personal reasons and from my understanding my tution had been paid and I moved to Dallas. When I decided to come back in the Fall of 2003 to finish my last semester of school, the business office said I had a balance of around $2000 and the only way I could come back is when I receive my financial aid they would use the remaining balance to pay it off and I just agreed and said ok.
As the months went by I was told to come by the business office becasue I had a credit check waiting so I did and I picked it up assuming my debt was clear ( why would they write a check out to me if I still owed them money).
In December I finished my semester and graduated. In 2005 I applied to become a Center Director for a Head Start Program and the state needed an official transcript and when I went to go apply for my transcript that is when I first learned that I still had a balance with Wayland and I could not understand why and no one could give me a reason as to why I owed them money.
I gave a written explaination to the state with my application for a center director along with a copy of an unofficial transcript and they understood and I received my certificate for a Center Director. I have been wanting to always go back to school to get my Master’s but everytime I applied I needed that official transcript and I have written letters to the President of Wayland asking for his help and he will respond saying there is nothing he can do.
Well, I finally found a school that let me start with an unofficial transcript and I have gone for 2 semesters now (15 hours) and now I cannot register for the fall classes without the official transcript and I only need 21 more hours to complete my Masters.
I tried again writing letters to the President of Wayland and again he tells me he cannot help me and that I need to pay the money and that is why I did not receive my diploma or the transcript. I wrote him back explaining to him that I did receive my diploma and that I must have misplaced my official transcript over the years, his secretary called me and said well maybe somebody in the business office may have just made a mistake giving you a credit check, but all I can tell you is to go get a loan and pay us back so you can get a transcript.
So my question is do I have to pay for their mistake?? One thing the president mentioned in one of his letters is something about a Title IV loan, but I called FAFSA and my lenders and they said I was clear and my loans were deferred and I have bee n receiving loans for graduate school.
So I am so confused and I keep getting the run around and they did mention they turned it over to a collection agency—I have never received a notice/letter from the college or collection agency about the money they say I owe. If there is any way you can help I would greatly appreciate it.
My question is do I have to pay for their mistake or I am still responsible for the money the college is saying I owe?
It sounds like you’ve tried over the years to get to the bottom of this, but now I need for you to make this an important project and not give up till it is resolved.
The fact the school gave you a check is not an indication you didn’t owe money. It quite frankly just could be a procedural screwup on their part at that point at that time.
Until this matter is resolved they will withhold your transcript and diploma as collateral.
What does concern me is that it appears they have not been able to provide any supporting documentation to verify the alleged debt. If they could clearly show you the debt was owed, would you accept that and pay the debt?
This might come back to the semester you withdrew. They may claim they have no record of the authorized withdrawal and then you’d be on the hook for the money. That is unless you have some proof that you did notify them and they let you withdraw without penalty.
Ultimately I think you are going to have to invest some money in fixing this mess. The least expensive way to get some definitive answers would be for you to work with an attorney in Texas and ask them to represent you in this matter. You can find a consumer attorney through NACA.net.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.