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My College Will Not Give Me My Transcript

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Dear Steve,

I was a student at Boriqua College and have over 100 credits. I am now a Teacher's Assistant with the Department of Education.

My problem is I am getting the lowest possible pay because this college will not give me my transcripts because of a tuition balance of 700.00. I could be making 7-8 thousand dollars more a year, but because of this problem I can not.

I can not afford to pay them but asked if they can work out a payment plan with me. They keep telling me someone will get back to me, but this never happens. I have called so many times and left messages. I am so upset because I am willing to pay a little at a time.

Getting so frustrated because if I could make this money by submitting my transcripts the college would get their money even faster. Please help!!

Please advise me on what I can possibly do to resolve this problem.


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Dear John,

Thank you for contacting me. Your situation is interesting because on first glance it appears Boriqua College may not be accredited. At least according to the Department of Education online database.

If the school is not accredited then with the help of a local bankruptcy attorney you should be able to have your private student loan or debt to the school, completely eliminated and free any claim against your transcript. To see how and why this is possible, read this article. You might want to find and talk to a local bankruptcy attorney who is licensed in your state.

Your situation sounds a bit like something the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) just took action against when they sued a for-profit set of schools. See this article. While it is not stated the schools withheld transcripts, the CFPB did say they withheld diplomas for debt.

I can understand how on one hand the school would want to hang on to the collateral they have in order to encourage payment. Yet on the other hand your statement is correct that you can't get the benefit of the education or increase your income without the transcript or degree.

In New York, where I believe you went to school, there has been proposed legislation to prohibit secondary schools from withholding student transcripts for unpaid tuition. The legislation was put forward by NY Senator Ruben Diaz who represents the Bronx area. His contact information can be found here. It might be worth bringing your situation to his attention and see if he can help.

If the school is still unwilling to work with you I would suggest you consider also filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can do so here. The CFPB is taking all these matters seriously and will ask the school to respond to the complaint.

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