New York's first woman Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation on May 4, 2022, that will benefit many college students enrolled at colleges and universities around the state. With the signing of S.5924-C/A.6938-B, colleges can't use students' unpaid debt against them. Now, even if a student owes money, a college or university in New York State can't keep their transcripts from them or make them pay a higher fee to get a copy. For a student who needs their transcript to get a job, to potentially help pay off their school debt, transcripts are usually a requirement. It also helps students that may be trying to further their education and needs to provide their transcripts to their new higher education institution.

Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash
Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash
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Gov. Hochul said,

Transcripts are critical for students to continue pursuing their educational and career goals. To hold transcripts hostage until outstanding debts are paid is an unfair, predatory practice that prevents our students from reaching their full potential. I was proud to make ending transcript withholding a top priority and took action to end this practice at SUNY and CUNY in January. Today, we put an end to this abhorrent policy for all higher education institutions to ensure a level playing field for New York’s students.

Some colleges hold students' transcripts hostage and use the documents as leverage to pressure students to pay their debts. Students who are struggling financially are punished by this tactic. It also prevents some students from being able to secure employment, which could have helped them pay their debt.

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