AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) applauds the Maine Senate for voting today to reform the harmful practice of transcript withholding.
“College education is a critical tool for Mainers to boost their income and for a stronger economy,” writes Arthur Phillips, MECEP economic policy analyst. “We should be seeking opportunities to support students, especially individuals from households with low income, so they can finish their degrees and bring skills to the labor force.”
Universities and colleges currently withhold the transcripts and diplomas of students who have outstanding balances, sometimes even for parking tickets or library fines. Without transcripts, students cannot re-enroll or bring credits they’ve earned and paid for to another school. Without a diploma, students face greater obstacles in the job market and difficulty paying off debts, which they must do to receive their diploma.
LD 1838, An Act To Improve Student Access to Postsecondary School Transcripts and Diplomas, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli, would prohibit colleges and universities from withholding transcripts from students who owe modest debts, which would improve Mainers’ prospects for completing their degrees and getting jobs that pay down their balances and contribute to Maine’s economy.
MECEP calls on the Maine House of Representatives and Governor Mills to stand up for Maine students and pass this bill into law.