CUNY to Release Transcripts to Students with Unpaid Tuition & Fees

Originally published in Politics NY on August 13, 2021.

The City University of New York (CUNY) announced earlier this week that they will be suspending two policies that will free tens of thousands of students with debt to pursue employment and other educational opportunities, effective immediately,  

The Chancellor, Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, is suspending a long-held policy that prevented CUNY schools from releasing the official transcripts of students and graduates who owe the university unpaid tuition and fees.

The policy of withholding transcripts has drawn criticism as it restricts students from pursuing further educational and professional opportunities. There is currently a bill in the State Senate sponsored by Senator Kevin Thomas (D-Long Island)  that would eliminate the practice of withholding transcripts for good in the state. 

“I applaud CUNY’s decision to end the egregious practice of withholding transcripts from former students with unpaid bills. It is my hope that other colleges and universities in New York State will follow and voluntarily end this harmful policy,” said Thomas.

“I introduced legislation which was passed by the New York State Senate, making transcript withholding a prohibited debt practice. The legislation would ensure that no student is denied the opportunity to pursue a career path or access to social and economic mobility simply because of an outstanding balance on their school account. Although long overdue, I am grateful that CUNY has finally taken action and I will continue to advocate for my legislation to become law,” the lawmakers added.