2-for-one problem: college transcripts and money order
September 6, 2018 5:20 PM   Subscribe

I attended a college that has since closed its doors. About 18 months ago, I requested and received my unofficial transcripts. Last month, I requested an official copy, and my letter of request came back to me via snail mail, marked "Box Closed," and I don't have a receipt for the $45 money order inside the envelope.

1) Can I seriously not get my transcripts?
2) Can I cash or refund this money order somehow?

The college (in U.S.) has only that closed PO Box as its point of contact-- no phone numbers, no email addresses.

The money order was purchased with cash at a convenience store and I don't know why I didn't save the stub. Am I out the money?
posted by little_dog_laughing to Education (7 answers total)
What state was it in? It looks like the Illinois board of higher ed maintains transcripts for Illinois colleges that have closed. You could check the higher ed board of the state in which the institution was located to see if they do something similar.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:24 PM on September 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

For the money order, first go to the place you bought it and ask if you can cancel it. Bring it along with you and explain the situation. They may be able to provide you a form and you'll have to wait for an eventual refund. If they can't, go to your own bank and see if they are willing to cash it. This page says that banks will have different policies about those made out to other people.
posted by soelo at 6:10 PM on September 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

When a college closes, it is typical that a neighboring college which take over the records and handle transcript requests. You will have to find that college and contact their records office for a transcript.
posted by deanc at 6:37 PM on September 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

One other way to find out what's happening with transcripts is to find online alumni boards for the college.
posted by yohko at 6:39 PM on September 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Some institutions that close also work with the National Student Clearinghouse so alumni can order transcripts through that organization. It's worth checking into and it would only take a few seconds to look through the dropdown menu of institutions there.
posted by ElKevbo at 7:26 PM on September 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hi, I work in an alumni office for a school that merged with two other predecessor institutions. We get these requests all the time. The advice above is excellent. A few other things:
- Was this a for-profit or a non-profit school? Private or public?
- Did another school purchase any portion of your school's infrastructure? Did they merge with another school? (Knowing what State the school was in will help a lot.)

- In general, if it was a non-profit school, someone, somewhere, is managing their transcripts and it is just a case of finding that organization. If it was a for-profit school, you may be out of luck.
posted by anastasiav at 8:25 AM on September 7, 2018

Can't help with the transcripts, but I once had a similar situation with a money order that was returned to me unused. If I recall, I brought it to my bank and they had me write or possibly endorse something to the effect of 'not used for intended purpose' and they then deposited it into my account like any other check.
posted by SquidLips at 8:33 PM on September 8, 2018

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