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Can a private Christian high school withhold transcript???

Houston, TX |
Filed under: Education law

My cousin graduated from a local private Christian high school here in Houston, TX. My uncle fell on hard times and was unable to pay the tuition balance.

My cousin is trying to go to college but the school will not release his transcript. He plans to pay the bill once he can afford to, but desperately needs to go to school.

Is this legal in Texas? Also, is there a statute of limitations on something like this?

Attorney Answers 2


It is legal for the school to withhold the transcript because tuition has not been paid. Think about it. The school did everything to give the cousin an education and expects to get paid for doing so. They haven't been paid and so they can withhold the records they control to insure they get paid what is owed. They are in the right, don't you think?

I read on another post that 17 years later a fellow needed a transcript and because a money charge was still owed, even 17 years later the school refused to release the transcript that would show the fellow graduated.

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When you enroll in a private school, you are given a set of rules as part of your registration. One of them is if you do not pay tuition, you do not graduate or in some cases your transcript cannot be forwarded. This is legal, but he might be able to negotiate a payment settlement plan and secure his transcript. All breach of contract suits have a six year limit, but it is your cousin who broke the contract, and the school has up to six years to sue him for the balance.
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Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information.

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