skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Consumer health advocates urge governor to sign bill package; NY protests for Jewish democracy heighten as Netanyahu meets UN today; Multiple Utah cities set to use ranked-choice voting in next election.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Pentagon wants to help service members denied benefits under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," advocates back a new federal office of gun violence prevention, and a top GOP member assures the Ukrainian president more help is coming.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

VA Bill Would Ban Withholding Student Transcripts for Debt Collection

play audio
Play

Wednesday, January 11, 2023   

As the Virginia General Assembly begins its new legislative session, one bill will be returning - with the goal of alleviating some student-debt burdens.

It would prevent a college from withholding a student's transcripts if they still owe the school money. People need their transcripts to get financial aid, serve in the U.S. military, apply to another school or sometimes, to get a job.

Several states have already banned schools withholding student transcripts - and this isn't the first time it's come up in Virginia. In 2022, a bill passed the Senate, but failed in the House.

State Senator Ghazala Hashmi - D-Richmond - drafted it, and described the change in the new version.

"What is changing in this particular bill now," said Hashmi, "is that it is putting in place the payment plan, that institutions can put in repayment agreements with the student."

She added that the bill will include a compromise, to allow students to have access to a partial transcript should they transfer schools.

Much of the opposition has come from colleges and universities, saying the only leverage they have to pursue college debt is by withholding transcripts. But backers of the idea say the schools can't recoup those debts if people don't have the chance to get jobs.

Though this year's legislative session will be truncated due to elections, Hashmi said she is hopeful to see other work done on higher education.

She said she feels the state needs to lift the burden of rising tuition costs off middle-class families, and budget more for higher ed. She said a combination of her own experience working in higher ed inspired her to introduce this bill.

"I worked in the community college system," said Hashmi. "I had students who said, 'Well, I've completed x, y and z courses, but I don't have the transcripts to demonstrate it.' So, they are forced to take those classes again. What happens then is, of course, it's a hit on their financial aid, the federal financial aid."

Hashmi said she feels the updated bill will address issues that prevented its passage the first time around.

A report from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia finds withholding transcripts for debt resolution can be harmful to students looking to pay down their debt.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.





get more stories like this via email
more stories
Some 43% of young voters say they are more motivated to vote by candidates who represent their values, not by voting against candidates who do not represent their values (27%). (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The youngest North Carolina voters could end up shifting the political landscape of the state in the not-too-distant future. New data from the …


Social Issues

play sound

Protests have heightened in New York as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joins the United Nations General Assembly today. Sonya Meyerson-…

Environment

play sound

Many across the state of Nevada will celebrate National Public Lands Day tomorrow. Nevadans will be able to visit state parks for free on Saturday…


Almost nine of 10 voters who used ranked choice voting said they were confident their ballot would be counted accurately, according to Utah Ranked Choice Voting. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Across Utah, 10 cities will be using ranked choice voting in the general election in November. In 2018, Utah passed a bill to establish a pilot …

Social Issues

play sound

While North Dakota does not have voter registration, civic engagement groups say efforts are still needed to help underserved populations get …

USAFacts.org reports in 2020, $12,268 was the average amount spent on health care per Indiana resident. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Open enrollment begins soon for employer-sponsored health insurance for coverage starting Jan 1. Most people will have multiple options to choose …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Health care advocates are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign four bills aiming to lower medical bills, improve transparency, and make health care more …

Environment

play sound

Rural advocates are supporting the Farmland for Farmers Act in Congress. It would restrict the amount of Iowa farmland large corporations can own…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021