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Still owe old college money, won't release transcripts...are there options?

vancelethurinvancelethurin Posts: 5Registered User New Member
edited December 2012 in College Search & Selection
I still owe my old college (University of Bridgeport) money, about $9500 that wasn't covered by my financial aid package for last spring. I planned to pay it with a private loan, but for some reason(rough economy I guess) this year's loan wasn't approved. Because of that I was unable to register for the fall semester, and they put a hold on my transcripts and won't release them unless I pay the amount in full. I really had no choice but to take the summer semester off and try to get a job; which is what I'm trying to do now.
I realize that it was my fault for going to such an expensive school. The cost there is about 40k a year or more with other expenses, and my financial aid only covers about half of that. So right now I'm looking to transfer to a school that costs much less, while at the same time trying to find a way to pay back my other school. I need to get into another school by this fall or all my loans begin repayment, and I really can't afford that. Problem is...deadlines are coming quick, and they won't release my transcripts.
I talked to a counselor in my admissions office, who wasn't too helpful on this, but said that "they've seen this before" and that I should just explain my situation to the admissions office of the school I'm applying to. Maybe they will understand my problem and admit me without a transcript, and when the balance is paid I can just have it sent to them...
What I'd like to know is: is this possible? Has anyone ever experienced anything like this before. Is there any way for me to get into another school and have the transcript sent to them later? Or can I just apply as a freshman and transfer credits later on?
I know I made a mistake going to an expensive school, and you can say I screwed up, but I'm trying to look past that and get this figured out. I've been through a lot of hardship, and much of it I brought upon myself. Stress, maybe depression--from issues at home and this financial pickle, a problem I've been aware of for a while, also helped my grades to go down last semester, which happens to be my first as a sophomore. I'm not complaining about down form a A to a B, I mean from pass to fail. I was taking 5 classes, I dropped 2, and lost track of everything. I set 2 alarms and still managed to miss 2 of the early morning finals, and the third class I believe I passed but not so sure. I may have completely failed the semester, but I'll never really know because the transcript hold. It sounds bad I know, but to add to my problems my gpa probably fell to 2.0 or below.
Have I managed to break the limit, set a record for the biggest failure, or does someone share my experience? I'd appreciate any advice, even if it means really bad news. I've got to come up with something quick before the before this August and it's too late, and I'm sure that there is a lot that I hadn't thought of. Enlighten me. Thanks!
Post edited by vancelethurin on
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Replies to: Still owe old college money, won't release transcripts...are there options?

  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,409Registered User Senior Member
    Talk to the admissions office at the school you want to transfer to, to find out what is possible. They may have a way of working around the missing transcript issue.

    But, frankly, how on earth do you expect to be able to pay for your expenses at a new college/university and at the same time pay off the $9500 you owe to the old one? Maybe you should just work a while and pay down that debt, and as many of the other loans as possible. If there really are no jobs whatsoever, you can look into hardship deferments for the other student loans.

    For more ideas, you should check out the Financial Aid Forum. There are some loan experts over there.
  • vancelethurinvancelethurin Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    Thanks. I thought of doing that but wasn't sure.
    I also have a private loan out so If I take more time off than I already have, I'll have to start repaying, and even with a job, that will be tough. Besides...I have to save money for future college expenses, books etc..
    I was thinking that I should try to apply for another loan to pay it off?
    I'll check the FinAid forum.
  • osucowboysosucowboys Posts: 613Registered User Member
    I would probably stop applying for loans. Those seem to be making your life harder and harder with each new one. Those of us who are sane on this forum, which isn't many, try and prevent cases like yours happening all the time. It's really heartbreaking to see our generation being screwed by the crooks running our country and especially our colleges, and it makes you wonder how we can even consider ourselves a 1st world nation when it's probably easier to go to school in the poorest African nations. I hope it gets better for you.

    I had a teacher who recently graduated from college and had a similar situation as you. She ended up having to switch her major from business to social studies teaching (she teaches AP Economics now) because the State of Texas would repay her college debt for her if she became a public school teacher. Try and avoid filing for bankruptcy if at all possible, because you will never get another loan (unless the interest is 20%) for years and it will make it difficult to find a job. You may not have many options though.
  • nysmilenysmile Posts: 5,850Registered User Senior Member
    If possible: take a year off and work your a** off making money. If possible, live at home with your parents and save every cent you make. You should be able to make $10,000 to pay off the debt from your first college. If this means that you have to start paying off your loan, make enough money above the cost of the first debt to begin payments on the loan.
    Do not get another loan. You can't pay off the debt that you have all ready incurred.

    Learn from your mistake. Pay off your current debt and then transfer to a more affordable school.
  • juilletjuillet Posts: 5,911Super Moderator Senior Member
    The whole point of old universities holding your transcripts is to prevent you from moving on to new schools before you satisfy your obligations to the old one. If they didn't, then people would consistently just leave schools when they got too expensive and go to new ones without paying the old ones off, keeping their old schools in limbo for months or years.

    You can talk to the admissions office at your new school to see if they will admit you provisionally without your transcripts. Sometimes they will do that for a semester or so, but I'm not sure how you can pay off the $9,500 in just a semester. Don't keep applying for loans -- all that does is delay the payment, not make it go away.

    However, you can not just apply as a freshman and transfer the credits later. That also misses the entire point of Bridgeport holding onto your transcripts, and schools won't allow it. If they ever found out that you applied as a freshman when you have 30 or more credits of college work, they can kick you out of their school.

    Honestly, it seems like your best bet right now is to get a job and pay off that $9,500 first, and then try going back to school later. It's not a good idea to go to school just to escape loan repayment, because you are just adding debt on top of debt, and you can apply for loan forbearance if you really don't make enough (although if it's a private loan, it is often harder to get loan forbearance than with a public one. They will do it, though, although sometimes they will charge you a small fee). Sometimes we make mistakes and have to defer things we really want to do because we can't afford it.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,409Registered User Senior Member
    Please be aware that loans for your college education cannot be discharged by bankruptcy. You are stuck with those loans until you pay them off, or until you die.
  • xiggixiggi Posts: 22,906Registered User Senior Member
    It is important to talk to the school you owe the $9,500. The school might have a policy to transfer all delinquents accounts to a collection agency. If that happens, the non-release of transcripts will be the least of your problems.
  • belevittbelevitt Posts: 2,005Registered User Senior Member
    Speak to a financial aid counselor, not an admissions officer. These are totally different and even at small schools they are different departments.
  • timothyguytimothyguy Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    I have read pages and pages of thread from people that ask for help on this issue. I, myself, am having the same problem. I have a great opportunity for a career change. The company wants to see my transcripts but i cannot get them due to money owed to the school. I think people that post back questions of financial responsibility and financial advice are missing the entire point here; that these two issues ,owing on school loans and requesting school transcripts, should not coincide at all. My financial obligation is noted, thank you, but that is my business and is not why I am writing. The bigger point in question is: is there a way around this? Do companies themselves have the power to get your transcripts? Do schools? One should not have to pay thousands of dollars to get a transcript released when that is why we went to school in the first place; to get a good job, get married, and have kids. It's what were all meant to do right?

    Anyway. My biggest question: Do companies, schools, or organizations have the power to request your transcripts? With your knowledge of course. Or will the school just tell them the same thing? That you owe money and they can't release them without payment.
  • alamemomalamemom Posts: 6,384Registered User Senior Member
    No. Companies, schools or organizations do not have the power to request your transcript.

    That applies whether you owe the university money or not.
  • hmom5hmom5 Posts: 10,882- Senior Member
    I think people that post back questions of financial responsibility and financial advice are missing the entire point here;

    With all due respect, I think it's you that's missing the point. The school 'sold' you a degree'. You have the job opportunity because of the degree. The have to pay profs, rent, for materials, etc to provide you with the education and thus the degree.

    Their point is that you should not benefit from the degree until it is paid for. You don't really 'own' it yet.

    No, companies can't get your transcript and in fact, you will probably look less desirable as an employee if you explain you have not paid your college bills.

    And most colleges will not let you in anyway because what's the chance they will get paid if the last college didn't?

    This is an unfortunate lesson lots of young people learn the hard way. I think the OP needs to be very careful not to compound the mistake with more big loans. Unless this is a degree from Wharton you're seeking that will get you a six figure starting salary, there's a good chance you'll end up in financial trouble in the unlikely event you find a bank to loan you more money.

    You need to work to pay off the debt and hopefully you can take some cc classes as you go.
  • mikemacmikemac Posts: 7,373Registered User Senior Member
    Companies, schools or organizations do not have the power to request your transcript.
    Many on-campus employers will require you to bring an unofficial copy of your transcript to the interview. Some employers will require you to sign an authorization for them to get your official transcript. So sure, technically they can't get it on their own without your consent. But they can refuse to hire those who don't supply it. If that isn't "the power" then I guess I don't know what is.

    Same goes with applying to other schools. Every school out there is going to require you in their admission application to list any previous schools and to consent to them getting a copy of your transcripts. Don't consent, don't apply.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,013Registered User Senior Member
    Yes they can request the transcript with your authorization. However a school does not have to release it to them if they have a hold on it for reasons such as non payment of money owed to them. This is certainly specified at my daughter's school, and probably at every school.
  • Cuse0507Cuse0507 Posts: 4,519Registered User Senior Member
    Join the military-they'll pay for your school and some branches even have programs that pay off your old debt.

    You can join the reserves or guard and work just one weekend per month for them until they decide to deploy you somewhere.
  • alamemomalamemom Posts: 6,384Registered User Senior Member
    I guess I used unclear wording.

    I read timothyguy's question as being "Does my employer/school/organization have the power to force my old school to give them my transcript even though I owe the school money?"

    And the answer is NO, they do not have that power.
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