Procedure RC2008 - Sale of Official Transcripts and Other Registrar Office Income
Policy Steward facilitating procedure: University Registrar
Table of Contents:
- OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS
- Receiving and Coding Transcript Requests by Mail/Fax
- Batch Preparation and Posting of Transcript Requests
- Production of Official Transcripts
- Filling Completed Transcript Requests
- Over-the-Counter Transcript Requests
- Overnight Services
- ENROLLMENT VERIFICATIONS
- Receiving and Coding the Enrollment Verification Request by Mail/Fax
- Processing Enrollment Verifications
- Receiving Enrollment Verification Requests Over-the-Counter
- COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
- DUPLICATE DIPLOMAS
- PREPARING THE REPORT OF CASH RECEIPTS (ROCR)
- RETURNED CHECKS
- AUDIT COORDINATION - FINANCIAL AND PROCEDURAL
- RECORD RETENTION, DISPOSITION AND DESTRUCTION
- CONTACT INFORMATION
- CROSS REFERENCES
The Office of the University Registrar receives sales income from three different services:
- Official transcripts, enrollment verifications, and course descriptions (Transcript and Enrollment Verification Department)
- Reissued diplomas (Academic Records Department)
- In-person student transactions (official transcripts, enrollment verifications, re-enrollment, reinstatement) (Enrollment Services Department)
This procedure provides the detail and accounting procedures related to the receipt and reporting of these financial transactions.
Official Transcripts are the University’s academic record of student performance and academic history while attending Penn State. Special care is taken to insure that Official Transcripts are true and accurate documents. Precautions are taken to make certain that documents are produced by Penn State and that they have not been altered in any fashion by the student or other third party. These precautions include the use of special paper with inherent features that detect change or photocopying, the use of special form overlays when the document is printed, and envelopes that identify the source of the document.
Enrollment Verifications are official documents that summarize the student’s semesters of enrollment and degrees and certificates earned while at Penn State. Enrollment verification documents follow the same physical precautions as described above for official transcripts. The data displayed on enrollment verifications is limited to “directory data’ as described in policy AD11. A web site is provided to the general public to obtain enrollment verification information on currently enrolled or previously enrolled students. A processing fee is charged for all enrollment verification requests sent to the Registrar's office by U.S. mail or fax. This fee is not charged to currently enrolled students or for requests processed through the web site at www.registrar.psu.edu
Course Descriptions are available at no charge through the Office of the University Registrar Web site. A processing fee is charged for all course description requests sent to the Registrar’s office by U.S. mail or fax. There is no charge for other institutions if course description requests are made on their letterhead.
Reissued Diplomas are available to all former graduates for a fee. Some graduates lose their original diploma and want a replacement. Other graduates want a duplicate copy of their diploma. The Penn State diploma is considered to be a ceremonial document, and as such we will reissue as many diplomas as the graduate requests. Reissued diplomas are prepared according to the current diploma format and contain the names and signatures of the current University officials.
Re-enrollment is a process that applies to former undergraduate degree candidates who left the University and now desire to return. A non-refundable re-enrollment fee is charged when the student applies for re-enrollment. The Registrar’s office collects this fee but all funds are returned to the University's general fund, 001-67.
Reinstatement applies to former degree candidates who were also dropped from degree status. The Registrar’s office collects a fee if a student is re-instated and all funds are returned to the University's general fund, 001-67
The Corporate Controller establishes the fees for all services of the Office of the University Registrar.
The Registrar’s office will accept payment for the above services in a variety of ways; although not all of these payment options are available for all services.
- Check, Cash, Credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover)
- For all faxed and Web transactions, payment is limited to credit card processing.
- For all transactions mailed to the office, payment options include credit card and check.
- For all transactions made in person, payment options include credit card, check, and cash
Incoming requests are received in the Transcript Department and are opened, sorted, coded and forwarded to the staff for processing. (See sections, “Enrollment Verifications”, and “Course Descriptions” for more processing details). Any checks are endorsed upon receipt and verified as outlined below. Official Transcript Forms (Exhibit "A") remain in the possession of the Transcript Team and are retained for six months. Each request is coded with such information as the number of transcripts requested, amount and method of payment (check, cash, credit card), etc.
All checks are examined by the Transcript Team Leaders for correct payee, signature, date, etc. Checks should be made payable to the Pennsylvania State University. If a check is found to be improper, the check and an “All Purpose Letter” (Exhibit "B") are attached to the request and returned to the requestor. If checks are acceptable, the staff removes the payment from the requests, and monies are handed off to either the Team Leaders or the Manager. For that day of incoming mail there is an adding machine tape prepared for the payments received and the total dollar amount is entered on a Daily Cash / Credit Card Log (Exhibit "C"). At the close of the day the Daily Cash / Credit Card Log and monies are reconciled and a Report of Cash Receipts (ROCR) is prepared (see “Preparing the Report of Cash Receipts” for more information). Note: There is no billing for transcripts. The appropriate fee must be attached or the request is returned for payment. Overpayments are refunded by check via Refund Request (Exhibit "D") (Overpayments of $5.00 or less will not be refunded unless requested by the customer).
The important elements of each request are examined, such as signature, social security number/PSU ID, dates of attendance, type of degree and degree name. Any requests and/or attached payments without enough information to facilitate the requestor’s record retrieval are returned to the requestor with an “All Purpose Letter” (Exhibit "B").
NOTE: If a transcript request lacks a signature, but is accompanied by a check with the proper signature, the check is photocopied and attached to the request to comply with required signature retention. The request is then processed for mailing the transcript as requested. If the necessary information is not available, an “All Purpose Letter” (Exhibit "B"), with the appropriate explanation marked, is prepared and returned with the request to the requestor. If payment was received, the payment is deposited per standard procedure, the Student Financial System is updated with the credit amount and the “All Purpose Letter” is stamped in red with the statement “WHEN RETURNING REVISED REQUEST, PLEASE ENCLOSE THIS CORRESPONDENCE TO VERIFY FEE WAS PREVIOUSLY PAID.”
Colored folders designate requests that can be ordered through the Student Financial System, the other folder is designated for non-Student Financial System requests. Staff then determine the Student Financial System/non-Student Financial System status of each request by the date of enrollment indicated on the request, and information obtained by checking the Student Financial System. Both the Student Financial System and non-Student Financial System requests are then processed for mailing.
The student record is checked for any hold restrictions. If there is such a restriction, that request is set aside for further investigation (Refer to the “HOLDS” section). If no holds exist, the Staff enter the payment status on the Student Financial System. If no payment or partial payment is received, an “All Purpose Letter” (Exhibit "B") is prepared. If overpayment is made, a Refund Request is prepared (Exhibit "D") (Overpayments of $5.00 or less will not be refunded unless requested by the customer). A document number consisting of the year, day, staff user identification number and entry number is assigned by the Student Financial System. Through the Student Financial System, the entry of this data systematically in initiates the production of the Official Transcript.
Official Transcripts must be produced on a “security/safety” paper to ensure that no alterations or reproductions can be made without detection.
Upon receipt of requests, the Transcript Team matches the requests with transcripts produced, and verifies the accuracy of quantity and content (proper student, etc.) of the transcripts. If transcript errors are found, they are corrected by the Academic Records Team. The original transcript containing the error is destroyed. The corrected transcript is then sent back to the Transcript Team for mailing.
Color-coded folders of completed requests for official transcripts are filed in the Transcript Department by the transcript staff, according to date sent. Files are secured and locked overnight.
Over-the-counter transcript requests are handled by the Enrollment Services Staff. Counter requests must be paid in full in order to be processed. Payment is made by cash, check, VISA, Mastercard, American Express or Discover (See section “General”). Student completes an Enrollment Services Transcript Request form (Exhibit "E"). Payment is received at the Enrollment Services Counter. Payments received by cash are issued a pre-numbered receipt as per GURU Procedure CR2059 - Processing and Controlling Pre-numbered Receipts at University Park. Cash/check payments are processed through IBIS Report of Cash Receipts. (See “Preparing the Report of Cash Receipts” for more information).
The student record is checked for any hold restrictions. If there is such a restriction, the student is informed of the procedure to resolve the hold.
If the official transcript is to be mailed, the request for transcript form is marked paid; the transcript is produced and mailed. If the request is for an official transcript to be printed on demand, the Enrollment Services Staff retrieves the student record, produces the transcript on security/safety paper and validates it. The payment information is entered into the Student Financial System and the transcript is given to the student.
Students can request official transcripts through the on-site Kiosk in the Lobby of Shields Building.
Students can request that transcripts be mailed overnight. Due to the higher cost of overnight mail services, students are charged the cost of established mailing fee. Payments are received and processed as indicated in the section, "Receiving and Coding Transcript Requests By Mail/Fax”.
Overpayments are refunded by check via Refund Request in accordance with the instructions for Refund Request on GURU (overpayments of $5.00 or less will not be refunded unless requested by the customer) and (See section "BILLING PROCESS" for more details).
Requests for Enrollment Verifications can be received by mail or fax. Academic Verification Forms (Exhibit "G") are retained for 6 months. Payment must accompany the request or it will be returned to the sender with an “All Purpose Letter” (Exhibit "B"). Enrollment Verifications may also be obtained at www.registrar.psu.edu free of charge. Third parties choosing not to use the website for prior student enrollment verifications are charged a nominal fee. (See “Official Transcripts” for financial details). Enrollment verification requests are coded by staff with the appropriate information for further processing.
The Enrollment Verification Team checks the Student Financial System for any restrictions that may be placed by the student on their student records (See NOTE, below). If no such restriction exists, the Enrollment Verification Team enters the request information into the Student Financial System, and the Enrollment Verification is prepared and mailed.
NOTE: The term “restriction” represents a restriction placed by the student only on the information pertinent to Enrollment Verification requests; this information is typically the “Directory Items” considered part of the student’s public record, as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and University Policy AD11. Beyond this restriction, no other types of holds discussed in this procedure (e.g., financial or diploma holds placed by other areas) may prevent the processing of an Enrollment Verification request. Holds involving the release of OTHER documents are discussed in the “HOLDS” section of this procedure.
Over-the-counter Enrollment Verification requests are handled by Enrollment Services staff. Students may request verification on demand or request it to be mailed. Students can also request enrollment verifications at the on-site Kiosk located in the lobby of Shields Building.
Enrollment Services staff checks for restrictions (as documented above), retrieves the student record, updates the status on the Student Financial System and produces the Enrollment Verification.
A hold placed on a student record by a University Office could prohibit the release of the student’s Transcript, but not Enrollment Verification information (see exception note under “Processing Enrollment Verifications”). It is the responsibility of the University department placing the hold on student records to release the hold, or provide approval to release the transcript.
Students may request copies of course descriptions (see Exhibit "F") by mail, fax or at the Enrollment Services Counter. A fee is charged for all requests processed by Registrar staff (except requests made by other Universities on their letterhead). All requests are received and processed by the Transcript Staff. All Course Description requests require enclosed payment for the copies. The Transcript Staff process payments for course descriptions in the same manner as transcripts (see “Receiving and Coding Transcript Requests By Mail/FAX”).
NOTE: Course descriptions are also available on-line at no charge for those with access to the World Wide Web.
Students may request a duplicate diploma. The current approved fee for the diploma must accompany the request, or the request is returned with payment requested.
Academic Records Staff receives/reviews the request to make certain that all required documentation and payment has been included. The Student Financial System is also checked at this time to verify that the student graduated. If the student did not graduate, the requestor is notified in writing that there is no record of a degree received. If more information is needed, the requestor is informed in writing of the needed documentation. If the requestor has sufficient documentation and the degree is verified, the student’s diploma is ordered from the printer and mailed to the requestor when received from the printer.
Payments are forwarded to the Academic Records Department and kept in a locked money bag. At least once per week, or when the amount reaches $200, the daily payments are reconciled and a ROCR is prepared for this revenue in accordance with the ROCR guidelines published in the IBIS Online Documentation. Reconciliation of Credit Card payment documentation is given to the Administrative Assistant in Administrative Services. Reconciliation of cash/check processes are completed by the Administrative Assistant upon receipt of the bank deposition confirmation. Credit card payments are accepted and processed in accordance with Policy FN07 - Credit Card Sales” and Policy FN01.
At the close of each day a Transcripts Report of Cash Receipts is prepared in accordance with the ROCR guidelines published in the IBIS online documentation, accessible at AIS Web site. The Transcripts Department and Enrollment Services Department are responsible for the preparation of the Report of Cash Receipts for monies received in their respective areas. The total amount is recorded to Budget 01-089-65, Fund 1007 (Fees Income); Object Code 040.
Revenues for Duplicate Diploma requests are also recorded separately by the Academic Records Department; however, the corresponding total is credited to Budget 01-089-63, Fund 1005 (sales income); Object Code 030. Monies received at the Enrollment Services Counter for duplicate diplomas are transferred to Academic Records Staff with the use of the transfer of accountability log. ROCRs are reconciled by the Administrative Assistant upon receipt of confirmation of deposit from the bank.
Cash and checks are not reported on the same ROCR with credit card sales.
Returned checks are handled per Procedure CR2002 - Processing Returned Checks.
When verification of deposit is received from the depository, the Administrative Assistant reconciles the cash deposited with the cash amount entered on the Report of Cash Receipts. If out of balance, the Administrative Assistant notifies the Senior Associate Registrar in charge of Academic Records and/or the financial Officer and researches and resolves the discrepancy.
Overpayments of $5.00 or less will not be refunded unless requested by the customer. All excess income should be credited to Miscellaneous Income, Fund 10010, Object Code 040.
At least quarterly, the Financial Officer will spot check the reconciliation processes.
Any time monies are transferred from one area to another, an Accountability Transfer Form must be used as specified in Accountability Transfer Form on GURU.
The Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that procedures pertaining to the accountability and safeguarding of all cash receipts, cash funds, and other assets are established and followed in accordance with approved University policies and procedures. Regular audits relating to advances, cash, travel, equipment accountability, and other expenditures provide a means to protect University assets. The Financial Officer is responsible for working with Internal Audit when audits are being performed in the administrative area, as well as performing an annual audit that is submitted to the Assistant Controller.
Record retention must be managed in accordance with Policy AD35 - University Archives and Records Management, and records schedules approved by the Records Management Advisory Committee, Office of General Counsel, and Office of the President. These retention requirements are the University's retention criteria, either derived or based upon federal, state, and local statute or regulations, industry standards, and business needs. Retention beyond recommended time periods require justifiable reasons and warrant review by the Records Management Officer or designee. All documents must be maintained in such a manner so as to provide ease of access for review, and to provide a suitable audit trail for all transactions.
- Documents subject to a Legal Hold (see AD35, Legal Hold). A legal hold will remain in effect until it is released in writing by the Office of General Counsel.
- Documents under audit or review, either internally or externally. The retention period extends until released by the Corporate Controller's Office. The Financial Officer will be notified regarding any accounts which are under audit; the Financial Officer will be responsible for contacting the department.
Additional questions may be directed to the University Archivist or the Records Management Officer.
- Exhibit A - Official Transcript Forms
- Exhibit B - All Purpose Letter
- Exhibit C - Daily Cash/Credit Card Log
- Exhibit D - Refund Request
- Exhibit E - Transcript Request Form
- Exhibit F - Course Description Form
- Exhibit G - Academic Verification Forms
For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this procedure, please contact the Office of the University Registrar.
- Policy AD11 - University Policy on Confidentiality of Student Records
- Policy AD22 - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
- Policy AD35 - University Archives and Records Management
- Policy FN01 - Processing Cash Revenues
- Policy FN07 - Credit Card Sales
- Procedure CR2002 - Processing Returned Checks
- Procedure CR2059 - Processing and Controlling Pre-numbered Receipts at University Park
- Blue/White Shredding Program
Date Approved: 04/24/08
Most recent changes:
- Revision 4 - Dated 04/04/08; revised to reflect current operations
Revision History (and effective dates:)
- Revision 3 - Dated 01/10/05; revised to reflect current operations
- Revision 2 - Dated 06/26/97; revised to reflect current operations
- Revision 1a - Dated 07/20/94; minor revision
- Original - Dated 03/02/92