I just think of this problem because I finished some independent study course in BYU and I am a coffee-addict (I am not Mormon for sure).

By common sense it shouldn't happen while I know that not everything nonsensical is forbidden by law.

I have confidence that BYU will not withhold my transcript. I just want a discussion of what the current law is and is it appropriate (or does so-called religious freedom goes too far). Just of academic curiosity.

  • 1
    FYI, if you look over their FAQ and their course policies, they only reference an academic honor code you are expected to abide by.
    – mikeazo
    Jun 22, 2017 at 12:58

2 Answers 2


When you enrolled you entered a contract with the university. In that contract you promised to do certain things (like follow their code of conduct) and they promised to do certain things (like give you a transcript).

The contract probably says what the consequences are if you don't do what you promised - it may mean that they can withhold your transcript. If that is what you both contracted to do then the law will uphold it unless what was promised is illegal. In general the law doesn't care if what you promised to do is objectively fair or reasonable - you promised to do it: the law won't second guess why you made that promise.

The contract is probably subject to consumer protection law that addresses some of the imbalance in the bargaining positions between you (a student) and them (a university). This may make certain provisions unenforceable or add terms to a contract. However, at common law, a term is only unenforceable if it is "unconscionable" - basically so unfair no reasonable person would agree to it.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act not only imposes privacy restrictions on educational records, it also guarantees access to such records. See 34 CFR 99 subpart b. They must "comply with a request for access to records within a reasonable period of time, but not more than 45 days after it has received the request". They are allowed to charge for a copy, as long as that does not prevent the student from accessing the record. There are certain things that are exempt from these requirements, such as confidential letters of recommendation (if access rights are waived), information on parents finances, and so on, but not transcripts.

However, there is no requirement that the institution send copies of said records to third parties. So in principle, it would be legal for them to sent you the transcripts which you would have to forward to their final destination.

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