Records Hold (Financial) (AP-02-105)

UW-River Falls Administrative Policy
Policy ID: AP-02-105
Effective: November 2, 1998
Last Revision: November 28, 2014
Review: 3 years

Records Hold (Financial)

Maintained by: Student Billing
Approved by: Chancellor
Next Review Date: November 2017

Printable PDF version


This policy establishes guidelines for withholding students’ registration, transcripts, and diplomas because of unsettled financial obligations to the University. Withholding of registration, transcripts or diplomas is never taken on behalf of any individual, concern or enterprise including other universities within the UW System, not directly associated with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

These policies apply primarily to holds for financial delinquency. Deans’ holds for disciplinary and academic action are not within the scope of this policy memorandum.

Policy Implications
  1. The withholding of registration, academic records, or diplomas is one of the most severe actions available to the University. It is second only to suspension in severity. It not only denies a student the opportunity to transfer to other schools but precludes use of a transcript for employment purposes. In some cases, great harm may occur to an individual if response to a request for a transcript is denied or delayed.
  2. Students are entitled to adequate notification of debts and of their opportunity to receive a fair hearing if they feel the University’s claim against them is erroneous or unjust.
  3. Holds for property damage will be submitted by the department where damage has been done by a student, who has refused to make compensation, regardless of whether disciplinary action is also involved.


The UW-River Falls Chancellor issues this policy in accordance with the Administrative Policy process. The Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance is responsible for the administration of this policy. Request an exception to this policy by writing to

Sanctions and Appeals Process

Failure to adhere to the provisions of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary action as provided under existing procedures applicable to students, faculty, and staff, and/or civil or criminal prosecution.


  1. A record hold shall be placed on a student’s record and registration for delinquent fees, tuition, or for any penalties related to registration and/or fee payment.
  2. A record hold will not be applied for amounts under $15.00. (See Processing Record Holds, No. 3)
  3. Record holds will be placed on the student information system either by terminal or by letter to the Enrollment Service’s Office if the student information system access is not available. The office placing a hold must have evidence that reasonable efforts were made to notify the student of the indebtedness and collect the debt. Copies of bills, correspondence and notices advising the student that a record withholding action has taken place must be kept at the office placing the hold.
  4.  If a claim is disputed, the student must be offered an opportunity to appeal the case. Methods of resolution will vary among the various offices authorized to request withholding actions. However, as a minimum, they must provide ultimately for an interview with the head of the office involved and for written appeal to the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee.
  5. Departmental procedures must include provisions for periodic review of existing record holds to ensure that sound practices are followed in billing and collection efforts.
  6. Each office placing holds will query the student information system annually for a summary of holds. The list will be reviewed and information updated by the departments that placed or requested the holds. Holds will remain on student records until the debt is satisfied, the property is returned, or statutory limitations have expired.
Processing Records Holds
  1. Each office will be responsible for placing holds and removing holds either by terminal or by letter to the Enrollment Service’s Office. The office placing holds will daily remove satisfied holds. Holds placed by the Registrar’s Office or Student Billing on behalf of other departments are removed as notified by the other office. Departments requesting holds are responsible for notifying Enrollment Services on the day that the hold is satisfied.
  2. Students may view their hold information through their student information system.
  3. Policies Governing the Release of Records and Registration: All hold categories will be noted with specified dollar amounts when needed to inform the student.
The following limits apply:
  1. If the total amount of holds due (indicated by dollar amounts) is under $15.00:
    -Registration WILL NOT be prohibited,
    -Transcript requests WILL be honored,
    -Diploma WILL NOT be withheld, and
    -Final grade reports WILL NOT be withheld.
  2. If the total amount of holds due is $15.00 or more:
    -Registration WILL be prohibited and such holds cannot be cleared by partial payments,
    -Transcript WILL be withheld.
    -Diploma WILL be withheld, and
    -Final grade reports WILL NOT be withheld.
Removal of Holds as a Result of Bankruptcy

Upon receipt of court issued bankruptcy notifications the offices will remove all holds on records of students while the bankruptcy is pending. The hold will be reinstated when the bankruptcy discharge notice is received unless the loan is specifically listed on the discharge notice. Student loans are not typically dischargeable except in cases of undue hardship as determined by the court. The hold will not be reinstated if the loan is specifically listed as being discharged on the court issued bankruptcy discharge notice.

Definitions -
  1. Student - anyone for whom an academic record of any type is maintained.
  2. Registration - processes of scheduling classes and paying academic fees.
  3. Transcript - the academic record as well as any subsidiary or supplementary records that are derived from it. (Records, Academic Record, or Student Record are used synonymously.)
  4. Diploma - The official document given upon the conferral of a degree.



1. Student Billing

a. Academic fees owed
b. Room and board fees owed
c. NSF checks for above items
d. Perkins Loan – No exit conference (Existing Federal Policy)
e. Perkins Loan – defaulted loan
f. Academic Fees – write off
g. Refunds of Financial Aid owed

2. Textbook Services

a. Fines due to damage or late return
b. Non-return of textbook
c. Non-payment of graduate or online text rental fees

3. Police Department/Parking

a. Parking Fees

4. Library

a. Non-return of books
b. NSF checks $20.00 + material cost
c. Late or non-return of materials and equipment

5. University Center

a. NSF checks

6. Bookstore

a. NSF checks

7. Alumni Office

a. Defaulted emergency loans

8. Registrar’s Office

a. NSF checks for transcripts and graduation fees
b. Lack of required transcript from other school

9. Food Service

a. Fine payment for multiple use of meals

10. Other Departments

a. Indebtedness to the University greater than $15.00
b. Return of University property valued over $15.00
c. NSF checks

University Responsibilities

Assistant Chancellor for Business and Finance
Student Billing Office

Department/Unit Responsibilities

See offices listed under Summary of Holds.


  1. Statutes
  2. System Policies - The authority to withhold registration, transcripts, and diplomas stems from action by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. The most recent instance of such authorization is recorded in the minutes of the July 20, 1970, meeting. At that meeting, the Regents approved the following recommendation for all campuses in the University of Wisconsin System: “Upon written request from any University official involved, the Registrars of each campus are empowered to withhold degree certification, transcripts and academic record information, registration records, and/or permission to register in cases where a student has unpaid fines, has a delinquent loan account, has refused to return books or property of the University, has refused to replace or repair University property which the student has damaged, or is otherwise indebted to the University until the fines or indebtedness are paid or satisfactory arrangements for restitution has been made.”

University of Wisconsin System Academic Fee Notes: “No student shall be issued a transcript (certified or not) until all accounts receivable have been paid. At the institution’s option, this provision may be waived when the accounts receivable are less than $25.00.”


Please direct questions about this policy to