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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