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Bill allowing students to access their transcripts despite unpaid debt clears state Senate

Members of the General Assembly are considering a bill that would change how colleges and universities handle transcripts.

Colleges and universities should not be able to prevent students from accessing transcripts because of unpaid debt. That's the idea behind a bill introduced by Senator Ghazala Hashmi, a Democrat from Richmond.

"Students who can't access their transcripts often have to repeat courses again at a transfer institution because they can't prove that they have successfully completed their coursework," explains Hashmi.

The bill passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote, including four Republicans. But, most Republicans sided with Minority Leader Tommy Norment.

"We are trying to impart on them that they are going through a transition in life where they have to accept additional responsibility," Norment says. "Part of that additional responsibility is financial responsibility."

Now that the bill has passed the Senate with a bipartisan vote, it'll go over to the Republican-controlled House, which will consider the bill later this month.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.