SENATE, No. 3538

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JANUARY 30, 2023

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† JOSEPH PENNACCHIO

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Prohibits institutions of higher education and certain proprietary institutions from withholding transcript due to outstanding student account balance; establishes penalties for noncompliance.†

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning the withholding of student transcripts by institutions of higher education and certain proprietary institutions and supplementing Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† As used in this act:

†††† ďDebtĒ means any money, obligation, claim, or sum, due or owing, or alleged to be due or owing, from a current or former student, but does not include the fee, if any, charged to all students for the actual costs of providing the transcripts.

†††† ďInstitutionĒ means an institution of higher education or a proprietary institution licensed to offer academic degrees.

 

†††† 2.††† a. An institution shall not, due to an outstanding balance on a current or former studentís account:†

†††† (1)†† refuse to provide a transcript for a current or former student on the grounds that the student owes a debt;

†††† (2)†† condition the provision of a transcript on the payment of a debt, other than a fee charged to provide the transcript;

†††† (3)†† charge a higher fee for obtaining a transcript, or provide less favorable treatment of a transcript request because a current or former student owes a debt; or

†††† (4)†† use transcript issuance as a tool for debt collection.

†††† b.† Failure by an institution to provide a transcript within 10 business days of the studentís request shall subject the institution to a penalty of $500 per day for each day of† noncompliance, which shall be collected in proceedings in accordance with the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.).

 

†††† 3.††† This act shall take effect immediately.†

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill prohibits institutions of higher education and proprietary institutions licensed to offer academic degrees from withholding a studentís transcript due to an outstanding balance on the studentís account and establishes penalties for noncompliance.

†††† This bill prohibits an institution, due to an outstanding balance on a current or former studentís account, from:†

        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, other than a fee charged to provide the transcript;

        charging a higher fee for obtaining a transcript, or providing less favorable treatment of a transcript request because a current or former student owes a debt; or

        using transcript issuance as a tool for debt collection.

†††† The bill further provides that failure by an institution to provide a transcript within 10 business days of the studentís request will subject the institution to a penalty of $500 per day for each day of noncompliance.