Senate passes Cano’s bill prohibiting colleges from withholding transcripts


            STATE HOUSE – The Senate today approved legislation introduced by Sen. Sandra Cano that would prohibit colleges and universities from withholding a student’s transcript due to nonpayment.

            “At a time when costs are rising and many students are struggling to get by, it is unfair to them to withhold access to their prior academic accomplishments due to being unable to pay tuition or fees.  While colleges and universities have the right to withhold credits or diplomas due to nonpayment, they should not be able to withhold records of already accomplished and paid for work and course grades.  It’s an unnecessary practice and it has no place in our state,” said Senator Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket).

            The legislation (2024-S 2289) states that institutions of higher education shall not withhold a student’s academic transcripts solely due to that student’s failure to pay any loan payments, fines, fees, tuition, or other expenses owed to the institution.  Academic credits and grades may be withheld for any course for which that student’s tuition and mandatory course fees are not paid in full.

            For students paying on a per-semester basis, such an institution may withhold a student’s academic credits or grades for any course taken in a semester for which that student’s tuition and mandatory course fees have not been paid.

            Colleges and universities would not be prevented from withholding a student’s diploma or degree due to that student’s failure to pay any loan payments, fines, fees, tuition, or other expenses owed to the institution.

            The legislation now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.



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