For Immediate Release:
March 14, 2022
Contact: Carrie Wofford, President of Veterans Education Success
[email protected]
(202) 422-6338

Predatory Practices and Disproportionate Impacts on Student Veterans Is Revealed in New Report on College Transcript Withholding

New report finds for-profit colleges’ withholding of transcripts holds students’ futures hostage by denying them the transcripts they need to obtain jobs and complete their education.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Veterans Education Success released a new report, “The Student Veteran Experience with Transcript Withholding,” that documents the experiences of student veterans, servicemembers, and their families and the negative and disproportionate impact transcript withholding has had on their lives.

The report catalogs frequent causes of transcript withholding, assesses the policy landscape, and provides policy recommendations to combat unfair and sometimes predatory practices by colleges. The report includes an appendix of 85 quotes from student veterans about how transcript withholding impacted their lives. Of these,

  • 35% are related to disputed debts, often having to do with inaccurate billing or students’ believing their GI Bill or other educational benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) covered the cost of attendance.
  • 34% are general complaints about transcript withholding.
  • 20% are related to debt arising from deceptive or predatory institutional practices.
  • 7% are related to closed school issues.
  • 4% are related to complaints over loans the veterans did not authorize.

Federal Policy Director James Haynes, the author of the report, said, “Transcript withholding imposes a heavy cost on the nation’s productivity and disproportionately impacts those with the fewest means. If students are literally unable to afford the debt they owe, denying them the transcript they need to obtain a job or complete their education is counter-productive. While the root causes of circumstances triggering transcript withholding are complex and should be addressed directly, policymakers can mitigate the impact of those systemic dysfunctions by curtailing the ability of institutions to withhold transcripts and essentially hold hostage students’ futures.”


Transcript Withholding Report Press Release