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Ask Colleen Grady Your Own Question
Colleen Grady
Colleen Grady, Attorney and Councelor at Law
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 551
Experience:  Assistant Principal, 17 years in the field of Education
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Are you just going to transfer me to sign up with an

Customer Question

hello -
JA: Hi. What is your issue regarding?
Customer: are you just going to transfer me to sign up with an attorney?
JA: No. I'm the Education Lawyer's Assistant.
Customer: ok cool - needto know- my son was at art institute - he was going to od the 4 year 75K animation/graphic design degree
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: but - after first year - he wanted to maybe go to a more traditional university - so we transfered to a community collge on the last day to get the prerequisistes and were told that the ART institute credits may or may not transfer
JA: Because education law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: we have an 8000 balance - i ad a loan set up with Tuition options - and requested transcripts -
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: the art instiitute - CANCELLED theloan and said I needed to pay theloan in full inorder to get transcripts -
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: granted it has been several months - but I have tried to reinstate the loan and tuition options said they will give us the loan but the ART institute is aying NO payment in full for transcripts - which NOW _ is affecting my son ability to go to school he had to take summer off becasue I could not afford to pay the 8000 and they will not release transcripst and the ACC -- community college wil not allow himm to reregister without the transcripts from the art institute
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

Hello. I have been an attorney for 27 years and have worked in the field of Education for 17 years. I will help you with your questions.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
JA: Hi. What is your issue regarding?
Customer: are you just going to transfer me to sign up with an attorney?
JA: No. I'm the Education Lawyer's Assistant.
Customer: ok cool - needto know- my son was at art institute - he was going to od the 4 year 75K animation/graphic designdegree
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: but - after first year - he wanted to maybe go to a more traditional university - so we transfered to a community collge on the last day to get the prerequisistes and were told that the ART institute credits may or may not transfer
JA: Because education law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: we have an 8000 balance - i ad a loan set up with Tuition options - and requested transcripts -
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: the art instiitute - CANCELLED theloan and said I needed to pay theloan in full inorder to get transcripts -
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: granted it has been several months - but I have tried to reinstate the loan and tuition options said they will give us the loan but the ART institute is aying NO payment in full for transcripts - which NOW _ is affecting my son ability to go to school he had to take summer off becasue I could not afford to pay the 8000 and they will not release transcripst and the ACC -- community college wil not allow himm to reregister without the transcripts from the art institute
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I did ask them for a settlement amount which they said they couldn't do. I ahve no issie paying a balance - but if the tuition option was goingto make the balance affordable at 400/month - the art institute is now making it that they will not release transcripst - (which may not even transfer) in order for him to register in ACC again
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

Was the loan that was cancelled part of the Federal Student Loan program?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
until the $8000 is paid in full. I explained to them today, I can make the payment but need to be abe to from multiple sources and I am waiting to hear from them?What I want to know - is - what is legal recourse - when we signed up we had a 5 year loan agreement - my son - left because the credits most likley would not transfer to a tranditional 4 year - we would have continued making payments - but then they refused to release transcripts and cancelled the loan with Tuition options that I had set up - and said we needed to make the $8000.25 balance in full before they would release transcripsts - my son has to register for ACC by the 24th - and I will need to pay and get the transcrits maile d prior to that - just want some legal advice?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
no federal loanjust with tuition options
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
we applied for fasfa - but that was a nightmare because of my husbands tax returns
so we did not qualify
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
we were awarded fasfa - but tax transcripts did not come in in time so it was cancelled
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

OK. Give me a short time to research your options.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
great - fyi email is***@******.***I am not trying to skirt or avoid paying - I just don't think that lack of being to pay in full on him leaving school -
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

The only way you can get a copy of the transcript may be through a written request under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). This is a Federal law.

Here is a statement from the FERPA website:

"Under FERPA, a school must provide an eligible student with an opportunity to inspect and review his or her education records within 45 days following its receipt of a request. A school is required to provide an eligible student with copies of education records, or make other arrangements, if a failure to do so would effectively prevent the student from obtaining access to the records. A case in point would be a situation in which the student does not live within commuting distance of the school.

A school is not generally required by FERPA to provide an eligible student with access to academic calendars, course syllabi, or general notices such as announcements of specific events or extra-curricular activities. That type of information is not generally directly related to an individual student and, therefore, does not meet the definition of an education record.

Under FERPA, a school is not required to provide information that is not maintained or to create education records in response to an eligible student's request. Accordingly, a school is not required to provide an eligible student with updates on his or her progress in a course (including grade reports) or in school unless such information already exists in the form of an education record."

The college has to comply with this law. However, they may say that you have to come to the college to inspect the record. FERPA allows you to argue for a copy of the record if you live too far away. However, the college does not have to give you an official transcript and does not have to send a transcript to another college. If the college does not comply, you can file a FERPA complaint with the US Dept of Education. You can get a complaint form here: http://familypolicy.ed.gov/complaint-form

If you tell me what state you are in and the art college is in, I will see if there is a state law that may help you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
we are in texas - the art institute AUSTIN
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
does that mean we have to pay them in full and have zero balance to get the transctript?
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

You can get the transcript through a written FERPA request to the college. It may not be official.

Let me see if there is a law in Texas that helps you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
thank you
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

Is the art college a public or private college?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
private
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

Thank you.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

You are not in default correct? You have offered to make payments?

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

There is no state law that will help. You can negotiate with the college for monthly payments in exchange for the transcripts. You should also make the FERPA request at the same time.

Your son may have to start without the transfer credits.

Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

You can also consider having an attorney write a letter outlining the fact that you are going to pay the debt and making a request for the transcript. It may have more of an impact.

Please let me know if I can help more. If you are satisfied with my assistance, please rate me.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you - well that was the thing - he started a semester and the new Austin Community College would not let him sign up for new classes without the transcript from the old school- because they said it was state law he couldn't enroll if he had a balance at the other school - so they would n't let us just drop the transcript - we dont even believe the credits will even transfer.
Expert:  Colleen Grady replied 10 months ago.

I researched the statement about having to pay tution at the prior college before enrolling in Austin Community College.

Here is what the Texas Higher Education Law states:

Sec. 54.007. OPTION TO PAY TUITION BY INSTALLMENT. (a) The governing board of each institution of higher education shall provide for the payment of tuition and mandatory fees for a semester or term of 10 weeks or longer through one of the following alternatives:

(1) full payment of tuition and mandatory fees not later than the date established by the institution for purposes of this subdivision; or

(2) payment in installments under one or more payment plan options that require the first payment to be made not later than the date established by the institution for purposes of this subdivision.

(a-1) In providing for the payment of tuition and mandatory fees by installment under Subsection (a)(2), an institution of higher education must also establish subsequent dates at periodic intervals within the applicable semester or term by which subsequent installment payments are due.

(b) For a term of less than 10 weeks, the governing board of each institution of higher education:

(1) shall provide for the payment of tuition and mandatory fees by requiring full payment of tuition and mandatory fees not later than the date established by the institution for purposes of this subdivision; and

(2) may provide for the payment of tuition and mandatory fees by requiring payment in installments under one or more payment plan options that require the first payment to be made not later than the date established by the institution for purposes of this subdivision.

(b-1) A date established by an institution of higher education for purposes of Subsection (a)(1), (a)(2), (b)(1), or (b)(2) may not be later than the date established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for certifying student enrollment for the semester or term for purposes of formula funding.

(b-2) An institution of higher education may collect on a due date subsequent to a due date established under Subsection (a) or (b):

(1) unpaid tuition and mandatory fee balances resulting from an adjustment to a student's enrollment status or an administrative action; or

(2) unpaid residual balances of tuition and mandatory fees constituting less than five percent of the total amount of tuition and mandatory fees charged to the student by the institution for that semester or term.

(c) The governing board of an institution of higher education may assess and collect incidental fees for students utilizing the payment alternative authorized by Subsection (a)(2) or (b)(2) and for students delinquent in payments. The fees must reasonably reflect the cost to the institution of handling those payments.

(d) A student who fails to make a full payment of the required amount of tuition and mandatory fees, including any incidental fees, by the applicable due date under this section may be prohibited from registering for classes until full payment is made. A student who fails to make full payment prior to the end of the semester or term may be denied credit for the work done that semester or term. The governing board of an institution of higher education may not impose on a student any sanction authorized by this subsection unless the governing board includes in any written or electronic agreement authorized by the student the following statement printed in bold-faced type or in capital letters: "A STUDENT WHO FAILS TO MAKE FULL PAYMENT OF TUITION AND MANDATORY FEES, INCLUDING ANY INCIDENTAL FEES, BY THE DUE DATE MAY BE PROHIBITED FROM REGISTERING FOR CLASSES UNTIL FULL PAYMENT IS MADE. A STUDENT WHO FAILS TO MAKE FULL PAYMENT PRIOR TO THE END OF THE SEMESTER OR TERM MAY BE DENIED CREDIT FOR THE WORK DONE THAT SEMESTER OR TERM." The governing board shall notify a student of any delinquent tuition or fee payment as soon as practicable. The institution's records may be adjusted to reflect the student's failure to have properly enrolled for that semester or term.

(e) In addition to other payment alternatives provided by this section, the governing board of a medical and dental unit or of a general academic teaching institution with a department or college of veterinary medicine may provide for the payment of tuition and mandatory fees at the unit or at the department or college of veterinary medicine during any academic year through a one-fourth payment of tuition and mandatory fees in advance of the beginning of the year and subsequent one-fourth payments of tuition and mandatory fees to be made at periods designated by the governing board. Subsection (b) applies to tuition and mandatory fee payments under this subsection. In this subsection, "general academic teaching institution" and "medical and dental unit" have the meanings assigned by Section 61.003.

(f) A student may elect to pay the tuition and mandatory fees of an institution of higher education by installment under this section regardless of whether the student intends to apply a financial aid award administered by the institution toward the tuition and mandatory fees, except that a student whose financial aid award or awards are available to cover the total amount of tuition and mandatory fees may not pay by installment under this section. On receipt of notice of a student's election to pay tuition and mandatory fees by installment, the governing board of the institution shall apply any financial aid award administered for the student toward the amount of tuition and mandatory fees due for that semester or term until the tuition and mandatory fees are paid in full and shall immediately release any remaining amount of the award to the student, except that the institution is not required to apply the award or awards toward the total amount of tuition and mandatory fees in exigent circumstances as determined by the institution.

(g) The governing board of an institution of higher education shall require a student who elects to pay tuition and mandatory fees by installment under this section to enter into a written or electronic agreement reflecting the terms and conditions required by this section for the installment plan provided for the student by the governing board.

(h) In this section, "public junior college," "public technical institute," and "public state college" have the meanings assigned by Section 61.003.

Have you thought about applying for a Parent Plus Loan to pay the remaining balance? Here is the link for information about this Federal parent loan program: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/plus