New California Bill Prohibits Colleges from Withholding Transcripts Based on Debt Owed

On October 4, 2019, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed AB 1313 into law. Effective January 1, 2020, AB 1313 extends to private postsecondary institutions and prohibits schools from the following:

  • Refusing to provide a transcript for a current or former student on the grounds that the student owes a debt;
  • Conditioning the provision of a transcript on the payment of a debt;
  • Charging a higher fee for obtaining a transcript or providing less favorable treatment of a transcript request because a student owes a debt; or
  • Using a transcript issuance as a tool for debt collection.

Colleges should evaluate their current Transcripts/Records on Hold policies to ensure that California campuses do not restrict a student from obtaining their transcript on the basis of a debt owed.