If someone doesn't pay their tuition to a university, is that considered student loan debt, consumer debt, or something else? I mean for the purposes of debt forgiveness (e.g. i think consumer debt expires and student loan debt doesn't).

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    Have you graduated yet? Do you plan to graduate? Because universities will normally not give you your diploma if you owe them money (sometimes even library fines). – mkennedy Apr 10 '20 at 2:11
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    Don’t most schools kick you out or at least don’t let you enroll for the next semester if you have not paid for this semester? If you are thinking of dropping out and don’t care about getting a transcript or credit for whatever classes you already took then you might be ok. – Damila Apr 10 '20 at 2:56

If you are supposed to pay tuition at the start of the semester, the school will drop you from your classes on the first day of the semester if you haven't paid.

If you are on a payment plan and you fail to make a payment, they will drop you from the classes.

It is possible to end the semester owing them money, if you run up some bills: traffic/parking fines, library fines...

This debt can also happen if you drop out in the middle of the semester, and the scholarship/grant pulls back the funds; now you owe tuition for classes you never completed.

If you owe them money, they can block you from registering for the next semester. If you are in your last semester they won't let you graduate. Which means that you can't prove you earned the degree.

If you don't have enough credits to graduate and try and transfer to another school, they won't release an official transcript, which the new school requires to give you credit for the classes you did complete.

If this is a state school, and you live in the state, they might have the ability to have the state tax authority withhold your tax refund.

Eventually they are like any other debt you owe. They can sell the debt, they can go after it themselves, they can use the courts. But in the end they will prevent you from being able to prove you completed the degree, or to show progress towards a degree.

  • thanks, but that doesn't really answer my question. – Tim kinsella Apr 10 '20 at 13:11
  • im not asking about all the various recourses the school has. im asking what sort of debt it is for the purposes of "statutes of limitations" or whatever it's called. is it like student loan debt in that it never goes away, or is it like consumer debt where it just messes up your credit and after five years it's unenforceable. – Tim kinsella Apr 10 '20 at 13:13
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    It isn't student loan debt. Because tuition and fees aren't a loan. Of course If you took out a loan to pay tuition but then still owed money to the school you have both kinds of debt. – mhoran_psprep Apr 10 '20 at 13:19

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