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California Lawmakers Propose to Stop Universities From Withholding Degrees Based on Debt

When people talk about education as an investment, they mean that students devote their time and money to pursuing university degrees so that, when they graduate, they will be qualified for well-paying jobs. Statistics consistently show that people with university degrees earn more in the course of a lifetime than those without university degrees. Once you receive your diploma, you feel a sense of relief that you are now ready to redeem the rewards of your investment in your education. Unfortunately, universities can withhold diplomas from students who have satisfied all of the academic and practical requirements of their degree programs but still owe unpaid balances on tuition and fees. California lawmakers have proposed legislation that would remove several financial obstacles to graduating and making progress on their degrees. If debt is making you doubt whether you can afford to continue studying next semester, contact an Oakland lawsuits, collections, and creditor harassment lawyer.

Legislators Discuss Ways to Remove Financial Obstacles to Graduation

Earlier this year, California Assemblymember Blanca Pacheco introduced Assembly Bill 1160, which would have prohibited public and private universities from withholding diplomas and certificates from students whose only remaining obligations to the universities were financial ones. AB 1160 also contained a provision that would allow students to enroll in courses for a current semester even if they still owed unpaid tuition balances from a previous semester. According to the ABC 10 News website, the bill would affect 750,000 California residents; this number includes some currently enrolled students whose financial ability to continue their education is in jeopardy, as well as those who abandoned their studies because they were unable to pay tuition.

The bill reached the Committee on Higher Education in March, but its author withdrew it in April, presumably to make further modifications. Critics of the bill claimed that enabling students to graduate with unpaid tuition balances would not solve the problem of universities charging students too much or that students would still owe the debts even after they graduated.

The fact remains that student loans are not the only financial burden associated with college education and postsecondary certificate programs. Even programs of relatively short duration that result in licenses to engage in a specific form of employment are still beyond the reach of many students who wish to pursue these career paths. The best solution for people whose debts are holding them back from educational and vocational training programs that would enable them to increase their income is to address the debts that are easiest to discharge or pay off, such as by settling directly with creditors, filing for bankruptcy, or taking out debt consolidation loans.

Contact the Law Office of Melanie Tavare About Debts That are Holding You Back

A debt relief lawyer can help you if unpaid and unpayable debts are holding you back from your plans to finish your degree or to train for a new job so that you can change careers. Contact the Law Office of Melanie Tavare in Oakland, California, or call (510)255-4646 for a free case evaluation.

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