I'm in the process of applying to an M.S. Counseling program. While ordering transcripts, I've run into a problem. 10+ years ago, I started an MBA, but only attended the first semester. However, my career dragged me out of state, so I withdrew after completing that one semester. Since then, there's been a disagreement between me and that school over a related government loan.

Long story short - the school won't give me a transcript for that one semester of classes, UNLESS I come up with $6000 - immediately. No payment program options at all. I don't have $6000 just lying around - but I have to finish this grad school app right away.

So what are my options? I guess I could try to explain that old situation to the Admissions Department about the loan dispute. But I don't know where that would leave me.

What about the possibly dubious option of just leaving out any mention of that one semester of an MBA program on my application? Yes, its a bit unethical, but I'm not sure I have other options. My GPA that one semester was fine, so it wouldn't affect my overall GPA negatively. Could/would this new school find out that I didn't report that missing semester of school because I couldn't get the transcript? How is this sort of information shared amongst universities, if it is? I have a guess about which way to go, but what do you folks think?

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    What country? . Oct 12, 2021 at 19:18
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    I'm confused, because in the US, universities have little to do with "disputing loans." They have a bill you didn't pay (it sounds like) and if you have a problem with the loan that's between you and the loaning agency. Oct 12, 2021 at 19:22
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    @AzorAhai-him- Believe the way it works is: 1) loan comes with a stipulation the coursework the government is subsidizing (via the loan) must be completed. Govt doesn't want to pay for no one to take a course. Student drops out, govt gets their money back. 2) School's policies are that all tuition is due past a certain point in the course, or partial refund. So now the student owes the school. It's important to know the financial aid consequences of dropping out. So, OP, is that what happened? You completed a first semester and started a second one, but dropped out some time in the middle?
    – Bryan Krause
    Oct 12, 2021 at 20:16
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    But, telling a new university you won't pay your old one $6,000 you owe them probably won't impress them... Oct 12, 2021 at 21:02
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    So here's where I'm at - I called the "new" school and sniffed around (anonymously) about the situation. Just keeping this semester off my application doesn't seem like a wise choice. So I called the Admissions Head and explained the situation. He was quite accommodating. He is going to look into the possibility of accepting an "unofficial" transcript, and to see what other options there might be, like delaying the deadline for getting that official transcript, which would at least buy me some time to come up with the $6k. We shall see. Thanks again for all the input! Oct 13, 2021 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


I ran into a similar issue myself. I cant give you a very valid way around it besides paying up. I found out about mine and it was on the cusp of 10 years. After the 10 year point they just wrote the loss off and since then my transcript was able to be released without payment. I would contact the current school, let them know of the issue. They may be able to request a copy on your behalf or just get confirmation that you did attend. You may also be allowed to get a non-transcript copy of your grades and maybe the new school will allow that as well. The best bet is to ask your new school for guidance on this. They may even just tell you not to worry about any of it and pass it over unless you need the credits or something. Good luck!

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