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The fee is actually nominal in relation to the actual cost of the service. Costs associated with the production of transcripts include not only the cost of printing the individual document, but also the cost for both equipment and personnel to maintain a system of records containing information on thousands of individuals. The University receives numerous requests for records from this system each year and accuracy is an absolute requirement. Also note that much of the benefit of the transcript system goes to alumni rather than to current students and that use of the system varies greatly from one individual to another. By having a fee, the actual users of the service are being asked to absorb a larger share of its total cost, while the University continues to provide a subsidy.
Prior to 1996, transcript fees had not been raised since 1981, when the fee was raised from $1 to $2. In reviewing this charge, the University considered fees in effect at similar institutions. While some institutions provide transcripts for free, some charge as much as $10 to respond to "walk-in" transcript requests. Some of the universities that provide transcripts "for free" actually use a portion of the matriculation fee (or other separate entry fees) to cover transcript services.
Case produces a transcript of all work completed at the university and will not selectively distribute records from particular schools within the university. The purpose of a transcript is not to portray the student in the best light possible, but to objectively display the academic record of course work and semesters attended at the university.
Yes. Everyone taking courses at Case Western Reserve University is considered a student regardless of any other existing university affiliation.
Like Case, most schools require full or at least partial payment before the semester starts, with the remainder being due before the semester is over. Like most deliverers of goods and/or services, it is reasonable to require that once the service has been delivered (in this case education), that the agreement to pay for the service (in this case, a signed registration form or use of the on-line registration system) will be honored. Payment for these types of agreements is not (and should not be) contingent upon future employment possibilities. Therefore, the policy to withhold official transcripts due to outstanding financial obligations is necessary (and, in fact, generous considering that many schools cancel registration for non-payment).