$5 transcripts

Wesleyan charges students for transcripts

As students, we struggle to keep up with the day-to-day financial issues that arise in college. Whether the expenses are related to school or not, we must always continue to stay on top of them. I bring this point up because of a recent change that Virginia Wesleyan has made concerning our transcripts.

Starting back in January, VWU now charges five dollars per copy for transcripts. This is a change from the previous system in which you could go to the Registrar’s Office and ask for a copy of the transcripts for free, request transcripts through Web Advisor for free, or pay three dollars for transcripts to be sent out to a specific location.

From what I have seen, most students did not even know that school began charging for transcripts. To me, this change, though not much of a pressing issue, does need to be known by the students. To me, $5 is a fair price to for a simple copy of our transcripts because of the process the school now has to go through to get you a copy in the first place.

The reason for this change is actually one that we, as students, would not be expected to know about or understand. To obtain a copy of your transcripts online before, the school would send the request through an online vendor they had handling all the transcript requests. This vendor, known as Credential Solutions, recently sought to change their pricing model. They decided that, whether students used the online request for transcripts or not, the school would be charged around $4800 a year for their services. To me, this is insane because the school should not be charged unless the service is being used. I may not know the particulars of how the school works through its budget, but I have enough money-sense to know that $4800 a year is a healthy bit money to be spending for nothing.

The school had two options for handling this pricing change: find a new vendor and hope for the best or begin charging a standard fee per transcript request. The school decided to go with a mix of both options. We now have a new vendor called National Student Clearinghouse. Together with this new vendor, the school decided to begin charging a standard $5 fee for each request.

Now before any of you conspiracy theorists try to say that the school is just trying to take money from us, you would be wrong, because the school only keeps $2.75 of the five dollar charge; the difference goes to National Student Clearinghouse.

Honestly, I am not fond of paying any more money to the school than I have to, but I believe the school made the right call with this decision. Yes, we pay five dollars for a copy of our own transcripts, but the school had to choose between that and wasting almost $5000 a year on a service that may not be worth that much money based on student usage That kind of gamble is not financially sound and I applaud the school’s decision. That $4800 could be used on other, more important things like keeping this campus running, expanding the campus, upgrading our facilities and enhancing our experience here at Wesleyan.

Jonathan Joyner