Sen. Laura Fine

Filed: 2/7/2022





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 3032 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Student Debt Assistance Act.
6    Section 5. Definitions. In this Act:
7    "Debt" means any money, obligation, claim, or sum due or
8owing or alleged to be due or owing from a student to an
9institution of higher education. "Debt" does not include the
10fee, if any, that is charged to students by an applicable
11provider for the actual cost of providing an academic
12transcript to a student.
13    "Institution of higher education" includes, but is not
14limited to, an institution to which the Private Business and
15Vocational Schools Act of 2012 or the Private College Act
16applies and a public institution of higher education included



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1in the definition of "public institutions of higher education"
2under the Board of Higher Education Act. "Institution of
3higher education" also includes a person engaged in the
4business of providing postsecondary education, via
5correspondence or online or in this State, to an individual
6located in this State, regardless of whether the person has
7obtained authorization from the Board of Higher Education to
8operate in this State or is accredited.
9    "Official transcript" means the academic transcript or a
10similar academic record of each current or former student of
11an institution of higher education that is deemed official,
12authenticated, certified, or bona fide and that contains
13information customarily provided on an official academic
14transcript, including, but not limited to, courses taken,
15terms, grades, degrees or credentials conferred, and any other
16similar information.
17    "Unofficial transcript" means the academic transcript or a
18similar academic record of each current or former student of
19an institution of higher education that contains information
20customarily provided on an official transcript, but cannot be
21used to transfer academic credits to another institution of
22higher education.
23    Section 10. Withholding of unofficial transcripts
24prohibited. An institution of higher education may not do any
25of the following:



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1        (1) Refuse to provide an unofficial transcript to a
2    current or former student on the grounds that the student
3    owes a debt.
4        (2) Condition the provision of an unofficial
5    transcript on the payment of a debt, other than a fee
6    charged to provide the transcript.
7        (3) Charge a higher fee for obtaining an unofficial
8    transcript or provide less favorable treatment of a
9    request for an unofficial transcript because a current or
10    former student owes a debt.
11    Section 15. Withholding of official transcripts. An
12institution of higher education:
13        (1) must provide an official transcript of a current
14    or former student to a current or potential employer, even
15    if the current or former student owes a debt;
16        (2) may not condition the provision of an official
17    transcript to a current or potential employer on the
18    payment of a debt, other than a fee charged to provide the
19    transcript; and
20        (3) may not charge a higher fee for transferring an
21    official transcript to a current or potential employer or
22    provide less favorable treatment for such a request
23    because a current or former student owes a debt.
24    Section 20. Physical or financial hardship policy.



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1    (a) Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, every
2institution of higher education must have a policy instituting
3a financial or physical hardship withdrawal process. The
4process must work to limit debt owed by students who have to
5withdraw from the institution due to a significant financial
6or physical hardship and to assist those students if and when
7they choose to re-enroll. Types of hardship shall include, but
8are not limited to:
9        (1) serious injury or illness;
10        (2) chronic illness;
11        (3) a medical issue of a family member in which the
12    student has to become a part-time or full-time caretaker
13    of that family member;
14        (4) a mental health condition;
15        (5) a sudden or consistent lack of transportation
16    issue; and
17        (6) a significant cost of living increase.
18    (b) Information regarding the existence of the financial
19or physical hardship withdrawal process shall be publicized on
20the institution of higher education's website, and information
21must be given to students as part of any school orientation
23    Section 25. Student debt and credit report. If an
24institution of higher education chooses to send a current or
25former student's past due debt to a debt collection agency,



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1the past due debt may not be reported to any credit reporting
2agencies or used against that student in a credit report or
3credit score.
4    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
5becoming law.".