USF St. Pete makes account error, withholds student's degree

Tampa woman graduated with honors

Tabitha Tirado calls it the hardest thing she's ever done. Her children were toddlers and she was working full time when she returned to college 5 years ago.

Years spent working nights and weekends on homework paid off in August. Tirado graduated with honors from USF St. Petersburg.

But then a letter in the mail changed everything. In it USF St. Pete explained they were holding her transcripts and diploma over a $1,500 balance.

This graduate says the $1,500 was a grant that USF deleted from her account in error and no one at the admissions office could explain why or was willing to help.

This new school teacher feared losing her job which required her transcripts. We contacted USF and asked their public relations office to look into this. A spokesperson emailed us this statement:

“Student privacy laws prevent us from disclosing many details about an individual student, but if you check in with her at the end of the week I believe the issue should be resolved.”

Days later Tirado finally received her diploma and transcripts and the best part, her student account is no longer $1,500 in the red.

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